Microsoft Trying Charge More for Android Patents Than for WP7 OS Licenses
Published on: 29th Apr 2011
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
A filing by the US bookseller Barnes and Noble has revealed that Microsoft tried to charge it more to license Android related patents that it would have charged to license the full Windows Phone 7 platform.
Microsoft is currently suing B&N over allegations that it's Android based e-book reader is infringing on Microsoft patents. If upheld, then every Android OS based device could be presumed to be infringing Microsoft patents. However, the filing notes that none of the patents seem to be specific to the Android OS, and relate to " five insubstantial and trivial features".
According to the filing, the two parties had a meeting in July 2010, where Microsoft wanted B&N to sign a non-disclosure agreement before it would reveal the details of its claims against the Nook. As the patents are freely published, the company refused to sign the NDA.
Microsoft then reportedly demanded an "exorbitant royalty" for a license to its patent portfolio for the Nook device and at the end of the meeting Microsoft stated that it would demand an even higher per device royalty for any device that acted "more like a computer" as opposed to an eReader.
The company added in its filing that, as it understands the costs involved, the license fees demanded by Microsoft for the five patents are higher than what Microsoft charges for a license to its entire operating system designed for mobile devices, Windows Phone 7.
The company added that it understands that both HTC and Amazon have signed license agreements with Microsoft covering the same five patents.
The patents in question are: 5,778,372 (the "'372 patent"), 6,339,780 (the "'780 patent"), 5,889,522 (the "'522 patent"), 6,891,551 (the "'551 patent"), and 6,957,233 (the "'233 patent").