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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Microsoft inks Android and Chrome patent deals

Microsoft struck two new patent-protection deals with hardware makers seeking to avoid being sued for using Google's Android and Chrome operating systems.

Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez

(Credit: Microsoft)

Acer signed a licensing deal with Microsoft that includes "broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Acer's tablets and smartphones running the Android platform," Microsoft said in a press release. Acer's Iconia Tab, among other devices, runs Android.

"We are pleased that Acer is taking advantage of our industry-wide licensing program established to help companies address Android's IP issues," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft.

The software giant's deal with ViewSonic covers tablets and mobile phones running either Android or Chrome. ViewSonic's ViewPad 7 will run Android. And the company has reportedly be considering using Chrome in its tablets as well.

The companies didn't disclose terms of the deals, except that Microsoft will get royalties from ViewSonic under that agreement.

Rather than going after Google for patent violations, Microsoft has targeted device makers, pressing them to license Microsoft's patents that it alleges Android and Chrome infringe upon. Last year, Microsoft cut a deal with its longtime partner HTC. And in recent months, its inked agreements with several smaller device makers including Wistron and Onkyo.


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