Microsoft said Monday that two more companies had signed patent agreements covering their Android and Chrome
devices, under the company’s IP (intellectual property) licensing program that already has over 1,100 licensing
The software giant said it would earn royalty from the two deals but did not provide details.
The agreement with Coby Electronics, a maker of Internet TVs, tablets, and other consumer electronics, provides
broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Coby’s products running the Android or Chrome platform, while
the patent agreement with Aluratek provides coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Aluratek’s e-readers
and tablets running the Android or Chrome platform.
Microsoft said the program launched in December 2003 was developed to open access to Microsoft’s research and
development investments and its patent and IP portfolio, though some critics claim Microsoft views it as a revenue
stream. A number of companies including Samsung have signed up for Microsoft’s Android licensing program, but
Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, has not signed.
Microsoft claims Android infringes some of its patents, hence the requirement for these licensing
holdout, Barnes & Noble settled patent litigation with Microsoft over its Android-based Nook e-reader in
April as part of a broader alliance with Microsoft. Barnes & Noble and a new subsidiary set up with Microsoft
under the terms of the alliance will pay Microsoft royalties for its Nook and tablet products.
Motorola and Microsoft have legal disputes in a number of countries, including one over patent infringement by
the Xbox before the U.S. International Trade Commission. A Munich court
ruled in May that Motorola infringes on a Microsoft patent relating to SMS messaging.