Microsoft adds two more Android tablet makers to its patent-licensing list

Microsoft adds two more Android tablet makers to its patent-licensing list

Summary: Add Aluratek and Coby Electronics to the list of Android and Chrome OS tablet/PC makers who are paying MIcrosoft patent royalties.


Microsoft has added yet two more companies with Android- and Chrome OS-based products to its patent-licensing list.

msandroidlicensingThe latest additions, which Microsoft announced on July 9, are Aluratek and Coby Electronics. Microsoft officials said as of today's latest signees, "Microsoft has licensed more than 70 percent of all U.S. Android devices."

As part of today's deals, Microsoft will be receiving undisclosed royalty payments from both vendors.

Aluratek makes Android-based tablets, e-book readers, digital picture frames and other consumer electronics devices. Coby  makes Android-based tablets and netbooks, TVS, and other consumer electronics devices.

Microsoft's claim is that Android and Chrome OS violate publicly-unspecified Microsoft patents and companies that are choosing to build products around these Google operating systems are making a risky bet.

Microsoft has convinced a number of Android and Linux-based device makers that it's better and cheaper to pay than fight.  Among those companies with Android- and Linux-based devices that have capitulated are Amazon, Buffalo, Compal, General Dynamics, HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, TomTom, Velocity Micro and others.

Barnes & Noble was a holdout, refusing to sign a patent deal with Microsoft, but a coule of months ago, opted to settle and sign with Microsoft. Microsoft invested $300 million in a new joint venture with B&N as part of that settlement.

Topics: Patents, Android, Microsoft, Tablets


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
  • Interesting

    I wonder who the remaining 30% are... Chinese OEMs? Motorola? (Doubtful)
    Jeff Kibuule
    • Yes, Motorola

      That is why I am buying Motorola only. I also joined B&N memebrship when decide to fight. After all it paid off for them- 300M is nice cash for a struggling company.
    • WOW dagamer

      did not know you were here too. you forgot acer and asus.
    • Let's hope the DOJ investigates this blackmail

      People need to realize convicted monopolies never learn. It's in their DNA.
  • Coby Electronics! King of the bottom-feeding hardware!

    An easy patent troll win for Microsoft's patent troll.
    • And an easy one for the comment troll to repeat his bile

      You couldn't even bother to change a word in making the same post on two stories? What a sad, sad little man.
      • Why should I?

        It's easier to copy and paste it since both articles deal with the same thing. Sounds like I rattled your cage there a little bit, pal.

        But if you want to, you can go ahead and pray for me. Pray that I won't be 'sad' anymore.

    • Not a patent troll...

      a patent troll is a company that buys up patents they don't actually use and live off of licensing fees.

      Microsoft actually uses the patents themselves.

      You might not like that they have a right to income for their patents, but that doesn't make them patent trolls.
      • When they use it as a form of legal fee extortion

        That's patent trolling. Whoever has the biggest legal coffers, wins.

        Like when Apple sues Samsung. There's another example.
  • it seem that

    Microsoft makes more money from Android than even Google....
    • Wow

      That would be a lie!
    • Wow

      That would be a lie!
    • Wow

      That would be a lie!
  • Microsoft adds two more Android tablet makers to its patent-licensing list

    Microsoft: Cashing in from android more than Google and linux ever could!
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Another Stellar Contribution

      And yet, way less money - in aggregate - than the manufacturers of Android devices. Since Google didn't intend to make money from os licenses, you make a truly null point.

      And who is this Linux, any way?

      And the scary question for the Microsoft advocate is what is the ratio of mobile licensing fees collected by Microsoft for its os vs. coerced Android fees? And is the r&d money more effectively spent in engineering or legal?
    • isn't Coby or Aluratek who are paying Microsoft, it's the consumer

      Coby or Aluratek products just got $5 more expensive. The consumer pays.
      Considering the ridiculous standard of the patents concerned, this is just another rich guys rip off the poor guys situation. It doesn't make the US stronger against China, it makes the US weaker, because the US is all the millions of ordinary guys trying to make a living as everything gets more expensive and their wages get smaller, not suits at Microsoft, they add nothing.

      This situation with the USPTO does nothing to drive forward innovation, all it does is serve the rich to get richer, and poorer to get poorer. Not fair, not sane and definitely not right.
      • Patent creation does drive innovation forward, and creates million of jobs,

        because, patents are what drive a lot of people to become innovative and inventive. If people were to be creative, and their innovations and creations were to be made available for free to anybody that could and would turn them into products, then, the whole process of innovation would suffer, since, most people would be discouraged from being creative and losing out on their inventions.

        Innovation that is turned into products (and services), will also be creating millions of jobs, and so, what you perceive as an evil, is actually a godsend for the innovative and the many millions of people who benefit through jobs, and the use of the products and services created.
        • A lot of assumptions my friend

          Small inventors cannot get patents- this is certain. What really happens is that large companies patent prior art through the broken USPTO. After all MS patented su/sudo. Which existed for decades. And then it is really expensive to fight the trolls or get invalidated those bogus patents. So in the end there is no incentive for the real inventor to invent anything, because the "Great artist" will come and steal it.
          Funny thing those jobs. You get 50 high level lawyers to get you patents, few gearheads to identify things worth patenting and then all the rest is done in ChIndia. Godsend, yes. For the CEOs that is.
          • No assumptions at all. And, there are still many little guys and little

            companies coming out with their own innovations and products, which, still need to be protected with patents. The big guys may swallow them later, but, the innovative spirit still exists in a great many people, and without them, the innovative products and the millions of jobs that are created from them, would not even exist.

            Without patents, chances are that, even the PCs and Macs and smartphones, wouldn't exist, and neither would the many millions of jobs that resulted from those patents which protect the innovators. We might still be with 1800s technology if it weren't for patents.
        • Re; godsend for the innovative and the many millions of people who benefit

          What a load of rubbish.
          Lawyers benefit. They want more of it.
          Innovators lose. They do NOT want any of it.