Microsoft adds Pegatron to its patent-licensing stable

Microsoft adds Pegatron to its patent-licensing stable

Summary: Add another patent-licensee to the pool of Android/Chrome-based device makers Microsoft is convincing to pay for its IP.


Microsoft has signed up Pegatron Corp. to license undisclosed Microsoft patents so as not to run afoul of Redmond with its Android and Chrome based e-readers, tablets and smartphones.

Pegatron is paying Microsoft an undisclosed amount as part of the deal. No further information about the terms of the agreement are being shared, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft is now touting the fact it has licensed four of the top five Taiwanese original design manufacturers (ODMs) as part of its patent-licensing strategy. "More than 70 percent of all U.S. Android devices are covered under the company's portfolio," according to Microsoft officials speaking about the April 25 news.

Microsoft now has more than a dozen patent-licensing deals with vendors providing Android and Chrome OS-based devices , almost all (if not all) of which involve those vendors agreeing to pay Microsoft licensing fees for undisclosed Microsoft patents upon which Microsoft officials have said that Android and Chrome OS potentially infringe. Other Android/Chrome OS licensees of Microsoft’s patents include OEMs and ODMs Compal, HTC, Samsung, Quanta, Wistron and LG.

Barnes & Noble and Motorola Mobility are both continuing to fight against licensing Microsoft patents to cover Android-based devices that they sell.

Pegatron isn't only an Android/Chrome device vendor. It also has designed Windows 7-based slates.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Security, Mobile OS, Microsoft, Hardware, Google, Browser, Apps, Smartphones


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • And so it continues

    Every company that has paid Microsoft off for its so-called Android/Chrome patent licensing has been a Microsoft business partner.

    The only two companies that have fought Microsoft's "advances" are Motorola Mobility and Barnes & Noble. Neither compnay is a Microsoft business partner.

    What gives?
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • It's a good thing...

      Everybody wins with this arrangement... Microsoft hasn't beaten them yet on the actual tech front, so they're using this to cover their losses while they catch up. Meanwhile, all these partners + Microsoft are protected against Apple's efforts. It's preventing Apple from becoming a monopoly on mobile tech, and I'm all for that... how can anyone not be supportive?
      • Apple?

        I'm not sure what this has to do with Apple? It is all about Android patent licensing.
    • They are Google Business partners.

      They're probally not allowed to sign any agreements with MS, per Google.
      William Farrel
      • RE: They are Google Business partners.

        From the article:
        [i]Pegatron isnt only an Android/Chrome device vendor. It also has designed Windows 7-based slates.[/i]

        Pegatron is a business unit of ASUSTeK Computer Inc. The latter is both a member of the Open Handset Alliance centered around Android as well as a Google business partner.

        Motorola Mobility is a member of the OHA and is a Google business partner. However, B & N is neither a member of the OHA (they use open-source releases of Android modified for their Nook devices) nor are they a Google business partner (they compete with Google Play). Neither company manufactures devices that run a Microsoft OS, mobile or desktop.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • More Extortion from Redmond

    Who would have thunk it????
    • I agree!

      that's racketeering of the suckers!
      The Linux Geek
    • Extortion?

      Nonsense. It's more like mobster mentality. Pay us to protect you from others... and from us. The difference that makes it a good thing rather than true mob mentality is that everyone wins, and it allows the companies to keep doing what they do.
      • Justifying the unjustifiable

        Good to know. ;)
      • Honestly Microsoft sgould be investigated for this.

        "The difference that makes it a good thing rather than true mob mentality is that everyone wins, and it allows the companies to keep doing what they do."
        Even tough it harms the consumer? Paying "Protection Money" artificially raises the price of the competing product, therefore tilting the playing field away from level. The reason for Microsoft's dominance in the computer OS arena, was not based on the merit of the product, but by "Protection Money". Microsoft put the squeeze on their customers (the OEMs), charged Monopoly Rents for their products and was know to Leverage their monopoly like power to hamper the competition. Microsoft also played the OEMs against the OEM's customers. Microsoft advocated Piracy of Windows, then turned around and went after the OEMs, for said Piracy. Bill Gates is famous for saying that if people were going to Pirate software, he'd rather hey Pirate Windows, then used that to charge the OEMs a fee for every computer. This was done because A computer with out Windows was going to be use to "Pirate Windows". Even if the end user had no interest in Windows. Basically Microsoft played fast and loose with the numbers, claiming they had 95+% of the market, and after repeating the lie often enough, people began believing it.One people began believing it, Microsoft began to abuse that position. Microsoft is looking to pull the same scam in the mobile arena, and if they get away with it, then everyone except Microsoft loses. End users lose: as they are stuck using inferior software, the OEMs lose: because they are stuck paying Monopoly Rents again. But the Microsoft Fanboys can't see that a world run by Microsoft, is not the Utopia they've been told it is...
        Jumpin Jack Flash
  • Extortion .... Mobster mentality?

    Really? Wow, Apple's lock-in right out of IBM's 1970's mainframe sales handbook and I guess the only reason no one cares is that all the fan boys weren't born yet.

    Enjoy your Apple and your Google.... just remember there is no free lunch.
    • Except that 1970's Mainframe

      was far more reliable than the OPEN Windows desktop or server of today....
      • Seriously?

        It's official, for that comment you must now change your handle to "WannaBeITGuy".
  • More extortion from the mobsters of Yarrows...

    Eric Holder needs to take a look at this PRONTO!
    • Since when is wanting to be reimbursed for what was take from you

      William Farrel
      • Only if you are a google fanboy

        google doesn't innovate, it just steals IP and lies to everyone about it.
      • I see our resident flagger's been here

        So typical of him
        William Farrel
  • Too Funny !

    MS is getting paid (a lot of money) for open source software it didn't even create. Oh the irony...
  • Microsoft keeps getting bigger and more powerful

    Microsoft already has a monopoly on desktop. 99% of computers stores in the world have Microsoft Windows as the only OS available, and you can't even get a refund if you don't want the OS. Microsoft is trying hard to kick Android off mobile phones. The rate they are attacking Google, they will within 2 years. Microsoft aim is to be dominate on mobile as they are on the desktop. Again, one dominate company.
    These companies do not take Microsoft to court because they will know they'll lose. Microsoft has the unlimited funds for long drawn court cases that will cripple any competitor, so they settle with payment to Microsoft.
    • Actually it's closer to 79%

      But since Microsoft chooses to use "fuzzy math" to make Windows look like it has more "Marketshare" they should have to pay the price. If you only counted Actively used licenses, the number would drop considerably. Every PC shipped to a large corporation comes with a "pre-activated license", which gets replaced by the company's Software Assurance site license. Microsoft does not deduct the deleted license, but instead keeps listing it as active, for purposes of Marketshare. This is only done so Microsoft can throw their weight around, and abuse end users. It has nothing to do with Piracy, as the computers get valid copies of Windows installed, Microsoft is just enforcing their "tax" on computing.
      Jumpin Jack Flash