Is LG’s Agreement Over Android License Issue With Microsoft Ethical ?

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Last year, in November, Barnes & Noble appealed to US justice department to proper examine the Microsoft strategy on the patent portfolio issues.  The company stated in its legal letter to the US Justice department that Microsoft is embarking an erroneous exercise and stipulating a huge royalty from Android based mobile device manufacturers. Microsoft has adopted the monopoly to eclipse its competitors by legitimating over patent issue which is falling in favor of the company – despite of all hue & cry.

Now another Victim in Microsoft IP licensing agreement campaign, Korean electronics manufacturer – LG, has finally decided to go with Microsoft’s patent licensing agreement. Microsoft has been accused to threaten Android based mobile handset manufacturers over the license use issue for long time. Instead of spending huge amount on the legal lawsuit, LG has opted the same route which has been followed by many other manufacturers – an agreement with Microsoft to pay royalty for on each Android license they use with their mobile devices.

Microsoft has made similar agreement with dozens of companies including Samsung, HTC, Acer, Quanta, and Wistron. After signing the agreement, LG’s sequence of products including Phones, Tablets, and any devices that feature Android Phone or Tablet would come under Microsoft’s IP right.

Microsoft Deputy General Counsel of IP group– Horacio Gutierrez—said, “This agreement with LG means that more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio.  We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS.”

The Intellectual Property (IP) licensing agreement poked extreme when Microsoft made patent agreement with Compal—Original Device Manufacturer. After the agreement with Original equipment manufacturer, over half of Android Smartphone market had come under Microsoft’s IP licensing agreement.

Last year, it was reported that Android and iOS have played vital role in mobile ad Industry growth; Around 53% of mobile ad revenue have been originated from Android based handset in May, leaving Apple iOS behind with 27% market share.

Google has incredibly marked its success by developing its Android Ice Cream Sandwich—also known as ICS—in the market.  However, many developers have lashed out over Android 4.0 stating that it doesn’t have enough unifying elements unlike Apple’s iOS among the third party application.  That’s why, Google is now planning to release a new set of design guidelines for the latest version of its mobile OS—ICS.

Microsoft feels dignity over its IP licensing agreement. Last year, Microsoft general Counsel—Brad Smith—said that Microsoft had also suffered a lot over IP litigation and the company had paid $4.5 billion licensing fees to companies including IBM, HP, Sun Micro System (now part of Oracle), Cisco and Silicon Graphics.

On the replies of Microsoft, Google explained that Microsoft endeavor isn’t only bad for Google but it’s jeopardy for industry as well as consumers. In Southeast Asia, Android has recorded an unprecedented growth of 1000% in within a year and secured number one position in the region. Microsoft Windows phone has very contribution in the Smartphone market and it holds only 1.5% of the total mobile market share.

It’s quite clear that Microsoft Windows Phone far behind compare to its rivals like Android and iOS. Nokia introduced Windows Phone 7.5 in its Lumia models but the company’s attempt was worthless. It seems that IP License has become prominent source of revenue for Microsoft. It’s time for all IP victim companies to come together so that to impede Microsoft’s wicked strategy to exploit the competitor instead to produce ground-breaking products.


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