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Acer and ViewSonic sign Microsoft patent deals covering Android, Chrome OS devices

Microsoft added two more OEMs to its list of companies agreeing to sign patent-protection deals with the Redmond vendor to cover Android- and Chrome OS-based devices.
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Written by Mary Jo Foley, Contributor on

After a hiatus of a couple of months, Microsoft is back to announcing more patent-protection deals with vendors selling Android and Chrome OS devices.

On September 8, Microsoft announced that both Acer and ViewSonic have signed patent-licensing agreements with Microsoft.

The Microsoft patent agreement with Acer includes patent coverage for Acer tablets and smartphones running Android. Microsoft officials declined to say if Acer paid Microsoft royalties as part of the agreement. Update: Microsoft is now saying that Acer is paying Microsoft royalties as part of the agreement.

The agreement with ViewSonic covers ViewSonic tablets and mobile phones running Android and Chrome OS. In ViewSonic's case, Microsoft will be receiving undisclosed royalties from ViewSonic as part of the arrangement.

Microsoft is using its patents as a way to try to fight Android’s growing dominance in the mobile space. Microsoft has convinced a number of makers of Android and Chrome OS devices to sign patent protection deals over the past year. Among those who've signed IP arrangements with Microsoft include OEMs and independent hardware vendors such as General Dynamics, Velocity Micro and Wistron. HTC paid Microsoft an undisclosed amount a year ago in a similar patent-protection deal.

Companies that are fighting against signing Android-related patent protection deals with Microsoft include Barnes & Noble and Motorola.

The Microsoft-Motorola patent fight recently kicked off with a trial before the U.S. International Trade Commission. The final judgment target date in the case is March 2012.

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