Google Hits Microsoft Over Android Patent Campaign [Analysis]


The software patent is an abhorrent indication for IT industry; if it will be continued with the similar fashion then it will absolutely spoil innovations. Presently, patent places an ever larger tax on innovations that come from previous concept. It’s clear, if you can’t innovate around the idea, then you must be punished, to pay and pay and pay.

Microsoft is threatening Android phone manufacturers to pay for use of its patent – secured through Novel patent buyout. Obviously, Microsoft has adopted the rule to compete in mobile industry by harassing related players. Google’s business is in growing trend even as the global economy appears to be slowing down, and to its growth, Android OS plays a vital role.

For the third quarter of 2011, Google reported revenue of $9.72 billion which is a 33% year –over-year growth again. Net income has also been on rise, coming in at $2.73 billion up from $2.17 billion in 2010. Google is very excited about its innovative mobile operating system ‘Android’ and continuous growth of android partner ecosystem.

Patent issue, related to Android, has convinced multiple Android vendors – including HTC and Samsung – to sign agreement with Microsoft while both the companies are presently working with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 OS also.

About the Microsoft’s patent issues, the Google’s CEO-Larry Page-said, “Rather than seeing, Microsoft compete in the market place with their own Smartphone, they have really continued resorting to legal measures to hassle their own customers, right? So it seems kind of odd”.

Microsoft latest patent licensing agreement with Compal was big news in the mobile industry this weekend, which is an Android original device manufacturer (ODM). It has well documented, Microsoft is asserting that at least 23 of its patents are infringed by Android devices. Indeed, Microsoft now claims that it’s intellectual property (IP) licensing agreements cover more than half of the Android Smartphone market. It’s been said that Microsoft stand a chance to make almost half a billion dollars next year from Android licensing fees. Apparently, by IP licensing strategy, Microsoft is making more money from Android than making from its own Window Phone & platform.

Microsoft scored another win in its campaign, when Samsung glisten in the last week, and also stroked patent- Licensing deal with the Google’s Android software using Smartphone and tablets manufacturers. Samsung, world largest manufacturer of Android products, will pay Microsoft an undisclosed fee for every Smartphone and tablet. Previously, HTC, the second-largest maker of phones using Android, Struck a patent-licensing deal with Microsoft.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft views these things differently. In the last decade, Microsoft general counsel-Brad Smith-said; Microsoft has paid $ 4.5 billion licensing fees to companies including IBM, HP, Sun Micro system (now part of Oracle), Cisco and Silicon Graphics. According to him, it is the way, the industry works and has always worked, and also rise of the Smartphone has added a new layer of patent license for the cellphone Business.

He defines that the Smartphone work on three different layers. First layer is radio layer; Qualcomm is the largest patent beneficiary in the radio layer. The company collects about $20 on every Smartphone produced.  The second layer is media technology, allowing music and videos to play on the Smartphone, patent licensing fee is about $3 to $5 a phone and go to varieties of company. And last layer is software layer- computing operating system that animates Smartphone. According to Microsoft and Apple, the companies that are working on this technology for years, like Apple and Microsoft, went first and developed software ideas, upon those software ideas built by Android. Microsoft claimed that Android uses java software technology, developed by its Sun Unit, Oracle contends.

Whereas, Google explained, the Microsoft campaign is not just bad for Android, but bad for the industry and consumers as well as by substituting litigation and deal-making for innovation.

Truly, Microsoft‘s failure at mass-market tablets has decided that if they can’t beat apple and android at popular tablets, they will litigate them instead. Microsoft’s motives are quite clear; instead of developing a competing product, they want to skim off the top from the work of others.

This is just one more step in a patent war that’s going–to spread throughout the IT industry. It’s time to pause – if can’t be stop – the war before it reaches maximum intensity, and years more before the fire begins to die down. Most of this decade will be spent in the patent war, which will reduce innovation, destroy billions of dollars in value.


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