Microsoft signs Android patent deal with Voxx Electronics

Microsoft signs Android patent deal with Voxx Electronics

Summary: Microsoft has added Voxx Electronics to its list of Android patent licensees.


Microsoft may be considering ways to entice Android developers and handset makers to join the Windows world, but that isn't stopping the Redmond company from continuing to exact patent licensing fees from those using Android.


On February 13, Microsoft signed its latest patent licensing agreement with Voxx Electronics Corp., formerly known as Audiovox Electronics Corp. The agreement covers Voxx devices running the Android OS,"including rear-seat entertainment devices, tablets and other consumer devices."

The terms of the deal are confidential, however Microsoft will receive royalties from Voxx under the agreement, according to the press release about the deal.

Microsoft has signed a number of similar patent-licensing deals with companies using Android and Chrome OS, under which those companies agree to pay Microsoft undisclosed fees to cover unspecified patented Microsoft technologies that are part of these Google operating systems.

Microsoft previously signed patent licenses with Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and more.

For Microsoft, patent licensing is believed to be one of the company's billion-dollar businesses in its own right.

Topics: Patents, Android, Google, Legal, Microsoft


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).

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  • Sad

    Oh Microsoft...look how far you've fallen. Now you're little more than a patent troll.

    Why not create great products? Why not innovate? Oh haven't done that since the 1980s.
    • Sad

      You're not even good at trolling...
      Johnny Vegas
      • no, do you defend evil?

        Microsoft earns 2 billions dollars from Android a year while losing from WP
        = immoral abusing of the patent system with simple non-innovative so called "patents", nothing more

        don't serve to evil

        they should stand up and fight together to protect progress against Microsoft+Apple
        Jiří Pavelec
        • Where do you get the 2 billion dollar figure from

          Seems people read speculation in forums and it becomes some unsubstantiated truth.
        • You apparently defend evil, Jiří Pavelec

          You appear to champion the other guys doing the exact same thing.

          Wouldn't that make you immoral, to condemn others for doing that which you praise others for doing?
          • could you give us exact examples or do you just lie?

            could you give us exact examples or do you just lie?
            I gave you the proof, you havent.
            Jiří Pavelec
        • Google the thief

          Android is stolen ideas and patents by Google. Google is the corporate form ofNSA.
          • Source?

            “Android is stolen ideas and patents by Google.”
    • Huh?

      A patent troll is somebody who just litigates and doesn't make anything. Microsoft makes things.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • And, some of those patents were created for and included in..

        ..Those things. I'm pretty sure that the patents included in the licensing are things like the FAT patents. That technology was developed for Windows, and is still included in Windows.
        • FAT has prior use by an Amiga user before Microsoft "invented it"

          According to Linus Torvalds, he was deposed in the case this past fall, and apparently his testimony about a 20-year-old technical discussion — along with a discussion group posting made by an Amiga fan, known only as Natuerlich! — helped convince the Administrative Law Judge that the patent was invalid.

          • If their oatents were invalid

            People wouldn't be paying anymore.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • People pay licenses for invalid patents every day ...

            You haven't looked into this at all, have you? (-;

            Even if the patent is declared invalid that doesn't release you from the agreement you signed. You have to bust the contract in order to get out of paying.

            And if that is more expensive than finishing out the term of payment then the price of honor has be seen as worth paying otherwise it is an additional cost on top of the mistake made in agreeing to the [invalid] license fees in the first place.
            Still Lynn
      • This activity indicates decline

        Unfortunately, Microsoft appears to be getting desperate. Based on the few details given on these secret patent deals, they are for older technologies, some of which Microsoft doesn't even use, which it appears Microsoft is using to try and collect royalties and also try to win back some market share against Android. So far it's not working too well, it's only bringing in extra cash for Microsoft. If Microsoft "still made things", they wouldn't need to worry about going after Android with software patents.
        • Grow up fanboys !

          Dear Fanboys,
          I know it hurts to see someone getting money off of an OS you probably use. This world and the companies are not stupid to give Microsoft money for free. If you have an idea, you patent it. If someone steals it (read Google), they have to pay up. This happens in every sect of life, not just phones.
          Someone said, for patents Microsoft does not even use. Very amateur comment ! Lets say you have 10 houses, you live in only one. I come start living in your houses without telling you and without paying you rent. What would you do? You don't care because you have 10 houses and you don't even use this one? No, you will call the cops, boot me out or make me sign a lease and pay you rent every month.
          Moral of the story : There is nothing wrong in Microsoft earning from patents. It's their right.
    • Why do you think patents exist?

      Clearly these companies know they can't win in court, so they sign licensing deals. There are countless licensing agreements in all manner of tech.

      Google helped itself to some of Microsofts patents and now their device partners are being stuck with the licensing bill. Maybe Google should do the right thing and sign a deal with Microsoft so they don't continue to put their partners though the hassle.
    • It did

      It got into the mobile OS business more than a decade before Google. Because it was an early entry, it got to patent lots of the industry's early ideas.

      Now it gets to reap the benefits of that innovation.

      Google does not get to Johnny come lately and ride off of Microsoft, Blackberry, and Palm's early innovations for free. You want the tech? You have to pay the people who thought it up.
    • I'm outraged!

      M$ picks to fight only the weak!
      LlNUX Geek
      • Yeah, like Samsung....

        You can't selectively ignore things in order to fabricate a criticism.
    • roncemer, look at how far you've fallen

      They create great products, they innovate, and they license IP.

      Just like Apple, Google, may other companies.

      It's so very sad, indeed, to see how far you've fallen, that you've been reduced to a troll, and a poor one at that.