Microsoft signs Android patent-licensing deal with Luna Mobile

Microsoft has signed an Android patent deal with Luna Mobile, even though its announcement of the arrangement never mentions the word 'Android'.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft's press releases announcing patent-licensing deals with Android vendors sure have changed a lot in the last year or so.

Credit: Luna Mobile

In the past, when Microsoft signed a patent-licensing deal with an Android and/or Chrome OS vendor, the Redmondians would sound the trumpets. Now, the word "Android" may not even merit a mention.

Microsoft announced on June 28 it signed a patent deal with Tampa, Florida-based Luna Mobile. As usual with Microsoft Android patent-licensing deals, the exact terms of the deal weren't disclosed except for the fact that "Microsoft will receive royalties from Luna under the agreement."

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed this is an Android patent-licensing arrangement, even though Android isn't mentioned in the June 28 press release announcing the deal.

Lately, many of Microsoft's new and renewed patent-licensing deals with Android vendors highlight that those vendors will be bundling Microsoft apps and services on their Android tablets and smartphones. They downplay any kind of patent-licensing arrangement between Microsoft and the Android vendors. Tuesday's Luna Mobile deal doesn't include any such app/service-bundling relationship with Microsoft, however.

Luna Mobile offers a line of mobile phones, accessories, and other mobile devices and services it sells under the Luna brand.

"This patent collaboration comes as Luna Mobile prepares to release a new line of smartphones and telecommunication services later this year," says the Microsoft press release.

Microsoft has not decided to stop collecting patent royalties from Android vendors. But today's Microsoft is less intent on proclaiming that it is using its Windows patents as a weapon against Android vendors.

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