Redmond, Washington -- Of late, the patent-licensing trend is gaining momentum, and in the backdrop of Microsoft's Worldwide Partners Conference that is taking place this week in Toronto, the software behemoth had some interesting hardware broadcasts. The Redmond, Wash.-based company on Monday said it has inked an intellectual property (IP) deals with two more OEMs: Aluratek and Coby Electronics, which will allow the firms to sell products running Android or Chrome OS.
As a matter of fact, the software giant would surely be making some extra dough off its patent portfolio thanks to two fresh agreements with two leading consumer electronics brands, Coby Electronics and Aluratek, besides it also gives it more than 70% deal-penetration for Android devices in the United States.
Specific financial details and amounts have not been disclosed, but with a rumored price of about $5 per unit, Microsoft would be raking a fat sum from a large majority of phones that it competes with.
“The licensing agreements with Aluratek and Coby Electronics clearly exhibit yet again that licensing is the path forward to resolving intellectual property disputes within the industry, and can be effective for companies of all sizes,” Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft, said in a statement. “Aluratek and Coby Electronics are the latest two companies to recognize the value of Microsoft IP in Android and Chrome, joining the majority of Android vendors in taking a license for this IP.”
Microsoft has previously endorsed patent licensing pacts with companies like HTC, Samsung, Suanta, Copal Electronics, Wistron, LG, and Pegatron. Although Coby and Aluratek are smaller players, the deal is noteworthy because Microsoft has been waging very public patent battles over its Android-based technology, as have its rivals. Microsoft holds patents relating to navigation and how websites display content; technology used on the Android and Chrome platforms.
The company does not always engages into agreements like these two, however. Again, one of the more public conflicts in which Microsoft has been involved is with Motorola, now owned by Google. Last month, Motorola proposed a settlement that would end its patent dispute with Microsoft, but Redmond was not exactly ready to sign on the dotted line.
Other details were minimal, and executives from both Coby and Aluratek expressed that they were incredibly thrilled to take part in a licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome.
Microsoft unveiled its IP licensing program in December 2003. Since then, the Redmond, Wash.-based company has forged almost 1,100 licensing deals for partners and competitors alike to access its sizable patent portfolio.
Meanwhile, during past few months, Microsoft's patent library has come into the news a lot. Most notably, AOL signed its mega patent deal with Microsoft in June, which paid up $1.056 billion for a portfolio filled with more than 800 patents.
Moving forward, the two tech firms first disclosed the deal back in early April -- only for Microsoft to then pull a switcheroo and sell more than 600 of the acquired patents to Facebook for $550 million.