Microsoft today announced that another Android hardware maker, Wistron Corp., has agreed to pay royalties to Microsoft for its use of Google’s mobile operating system — bowing to Microsoft’s claims that Android violates the Redmond company’s patents.

This is the fourth such announcement over the past two weeks. It might seem like a flurry of dealmaking, but it’s starting to look more like Microsoft may instead be slowly trotting out all the deals it has made to date, trying to ratchet up the pressure on other Android device makers.

The latest announcement comes with a new twist, mentioning not just Android but also Chrome, apparently expanding its patent claims to the other Google OS. Wistron, the former contract manufacturing unit of Acer, is a supplier to manufacturers of Google’s new Chromebook computers.

[FOLLOW-UP: Report: Microsoft chasing Samsung over Android, seeking $15 per phone]

Microsoft says in a news release that the Wistron deal “provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Wistron’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome platform.” The release also includes the now-standard line, “Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Wistron under the agreement.”

We’ve asked a Microsoft representative for more information about the company’s claims against Chrome, and we’ll update this post depending on the response.

The Redmond company announced its first Android patent deal more than a year ago, with its longtime mobile partner HTC.

In March this year, the company filed suit against Barnes & Noble and makers of its Nook e-reader over the use of Android in that device.

In late May, a report from Citi analyst Walter Pritchard said Microsoft is making $5 on every Android sold by HTC — and it’s asking for between $7.50 and $12.50 in negotiations with makers of other Android devices. That prompted some head-scratching around the industry, with one analyst estimating that Microsoft is making more on patent royalties from the HTC Android devices than from licensing its own Windows Phone.

On June 27, Microsoft announced an Android deal with military contractor General Dynamics Itronix. On June 29, Microsoft announced an Android deal covering Velocity Micro’s Android devices, including its Cruz Tablet. On June 30, the company announced an Android deal covering Onkyo Corp.’s Android tablets. Those were followed by the announcement of the deal with Wistron this morning.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Microsoft been using FUD again Linux for years without specifying there claims. An I doubt they are in a hurry to appear in front of a court to prove those patents are valid or not. 

    • Trollbasher

      They specified their claims to the entities involved. And they wouldn’t start a patent discussion unless they were in fact prepared to go to court if the negotiations don’t work out. Several of those organizations are very large and have sophisticated legal departments. The fact that they signed versus litigated tells you what they thought of their chances against MS in court.

      • Anonymous

        Fact Motorola decides to go down the route of court action suggests that may be these other companies, have cave in for reasons other than the patents are valid. Even Samsung is not exactly in a hurry to sign up for Microsoft protection racket.
        When Microsoft showed the world what patents they are holding against Android, and more interestingly against Chrome then I will stop calling this FUD.

        • Trollbasher

          Or it shows that Motorola is stupid and will soon lose. Samsung has already signed patent agreements with MS. And obviously there are some discussions underway covering Android and perhaps Chrome. Nobody is in a hurry to sign a patent deal, unless they think it will help them defend against someone else. So the fact that it’s taking some time is normal and immaterial. HTC isn’t a small player and neither is General Dynamics. Both have signed. More of your arguments falling apart.

          I don’t care whether you call it FUD until you’re blue in the face or learn how to speak English, whichever comes first. I’m just correcting your “facts” that are bs.

        • Trollbasher

          Or it shows that Motorola is stupid and will soon lose. Samsung has already signed patent agreements with MS. And obviously there are some discussions underway covering Android and perhaps Chrome. Nobody is in a hurry to sign a patent deal, unless they think it will help them defend against someone else. So the fact that it’s taking some time is normal and immaterial. HTC isn’t a small player and neither is General Dynamics. Both have signed. More of your arguments falling apart.

          I don’t care whether you call it FUD until you’re blue in the face or learn how to speak English, whichever comes first. I’m just correcting your “facts” that are bs.

          • Anonymous

            Last I heard Samsung was still in negotiations with Microsoft. The $15 dollars per device is not going to happen.

            HTC is a small player when compare to Microsoft or even Samsung, both earn many times more than HTC $117.4 billion and Microsoft 60 billion compare to HTC $9.57 billion, and just 300 million. HTC is a smaller player when you look at who they are up against. An they are very new to the US markets and lack the contacts to fight a drawn out battle. I am not surprise they settle they were a easy target who did not want anything to effect there expansion plans.

            If Motorola loose then at least they fought but if they win GD and HTC and you will be made to look stupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ofrae Solomon Utuedor

    By pursuing this patent law suit, MS is just admitting that MS OS is failure and giving further credibility to Android and Chrome OS . Microsoft is just saying , since MS can’t beat Google technologically they will pursue revenue through courts. Talking of big government , MS is handing more power to the court and consequently to the government. With a single ruling any court of law can just nix all of MS license revenue. What a shame for Tech community.

    • Jmac4369

      Really? The MS OS is a failure?

      I believe what this is simply stating, is that all other “hacks” that are out there are using the intellectual property that is Microsoft owned. While everyone else is trying to take market share from Microsoft, they should develop something that does not use the MS patents or the MS IP. So, if by your statement of MS OS is a failure, then why would everyone else copy it?

    • Mb90049

      LOL

  • John Mitchell

    Microsoft really is a cock flavoured lolly-pop!

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