Microsoft to get $444 million from Android patent licensees

By on September 29, 2011, 1:00 PM

Microsoft signed a major licensing agreement with Samsung yesterday over the use of some of its mobile patents on Android phones and tablets. The deal followed a string of similar agreements with other manufacturers looking to avoid a battle in court, requiring a fixed fee is paid for every Android device sold. So how much is Microsoft making from these arrangements? According to a note from Goldman Sachs's tech analyst team, around $444 million per year.

Goldman estimates that Microsoft is getting $3-$6 per Android device sold, and calculated the multi-million figure based on the number of Android devices expected to be sold by Microsoft's licensees between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. These companies include HTC, Acer, U.S. defense contractor General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and Wistron, and Samsung, which yesterday became the latest licensee.

Microsoft claims certain Android features contain technologies over which it owns patents, and the fact that two of the largest Android device makers have agreed to pay royalties suggests there is some validity to those claims.

Right now Motorola Mobility is the only major Android smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. without a license from Microsoft, and the two are battling it out in court at the same time that Motorola Mobility is being acquired by Google.

Looking at the bigger picture $444 million represents just a drop in the bucket for Microsoft's yearly revenue, which is expected to be around $75 billion for fiscal 2012. From a strategic point of view, however, the additional cost and legal complexity of Android may chill adoption of the platform, which Google gives away for free, making other mobile operating systems such as Windows Phone 7 more attractive to manufacturers.




User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

and this is how they they rule the world....this is how they stop innovation (in some way) nice way to screw the competition...but why the samsung devices are using those patents without concent? who is cheating?

bimboy56 said:

Actually, this is a rather healthy way to "establish a good competition" and to preserve innovation. Rather than patent lawsuits and infringements - which by the way is getting out of hand.

Guest said:

It's rely sad, still, i prefer android over MS.. almost anything is patented these days, its very hard to make anything without using patents(knowingly or not). Like everybody must know all patents, duh >.<

Guest said:

It is nice that governments around the world allow this protection racket stuff to happen

Next thing you know they will allow people to patent colors and shapes.

I want dibs on rectangles.

Guest said:

I think its really #$!@'ed up that a company can do that, make another company pay for something so darn stupid and little, greed is going to kill us all one day.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Guest said:

It is nice that governments around the world allow this protection racket stuff to happen

Next thing you know they will allow people to patent colors and shapes.

I want dibs on rectangles.

AHHHH! Do you want a world without protected intellectual property?! Try China. This sort of deal is what protects and stimulates innovation. The laws in this country state that if you come up with an idea, then that idea belongs to you, and you're free to sell it. Without this we'd all be buying iPhones made by Joe's phone shack. You people are all embarrassing yoursevles.

And Apple already has sued Samsung over the rectangle. Since they didnt' win the lawsuit on the finger swipe gesture or the moniker 'App Store'.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Guest said:

I think its really #$!@'ed up that a company can do that, make another company pay for something so darn stupid and little, greed is going to kill us all one day.

Ok... Let's say they can't. So instead of buying things from other companies to use in products everyone has to make their own. So now Ford needs to figure out how to make car seats, airbags, radios, and tires instead of just buying them from someone who's already great at it and willing to sell it. I guess that's just greedy that a tire company would want to sell their product right to anyone but someone who's going to drive a car?

This type of system is literally the foundation for product innovation. You think Apple was the genius behind the iPod? It was the little manufaturing firm who made the tiny hard drive and sold millions to Apple.

Shame on TS for that line in there about $444 million is just a drop in the bucket... while true, you should know by know that sort of thing only riles up the ****** into spewing nonsense about greedy companies.

NeoFlux said:

Nice, now MS have nice budget to develop another mobile OS that almost nobody uses.

Guest said:

Too late, Apple already has the rectangle.

SammyJames said:

Hmm... this is an interesting concept. Microsoft is getting a lot of money for innovations in software -- FREE software -- whose license originally forbade anyone from preventing others from using the same software and PATENTING it.

In other words -- it's okay to sell a product and use Linux to sell it. That is fine. But if your product uses Linux, the license specifically states that anyone can come along, modify the product, and sell it as well -- without having to pay any licensing fees.

This is the idea behind "free" software. The idea isn't to prevent people from making money off of the sale of that product -- it is intended to prevent people from preventing OTHERS from doing the same thing.

It's like, you know -- we have water all around us. I can walk down the street to a creek, bottle it, and sell it. I can't prevent my neighbor from doing the same thing. Each of us can come up with different ways to market our respective products ("MINE tastes better because I don't FART in it like HE does...!!!" but I can't explicitly prevent him from selling his brand of water -- no matter how farty it is.

But seriously -- I wonder how this whole patent thing would stand up in cour--

Ah, forget it.

nigel said:

It would be nice if Google finds something in its patents to use against Microsoft - perhaps US$6 against all copies of Windows.

We guess that the PC user will be subsidising the Windows Mobile platform

tonylukac said:

As if microsoft needs the money. They are now a monopoly.

Guest said:

" concent" ?? did you mean ' consent' ? grab a dictionary next time......

Guest said:

have dibs on ' circle ' concept then! ..all gears, wheels, etc etc.......for just one hour will make me rich enough LOL

caravel said:

Yawn...

I see the usual mickeyshaft fanboys are loving this... I hope the thread has a patented wipe clean surface...

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