AOL sells 800 patents to Microsoft in $1 billion deal

By on April 9, 2012 at 8:40 AM.

AOL sells 800 patents to Microsoft in $1 billion deal

AOL and Microsoft on Monday announced an agreement in which the software giant will purchase 800 patents from AOL in a $1.056 billion cash deal. Microsoft will also license more than 300 additional patents from AOL as part of the agreement. “The agreement with Microsoft represents the culmination of a robust auction process for our patent portfolio,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chairman and CEO. “We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft. The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value.” The portfolio sold relates to advertising, search, content generation and management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming and security. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, pending regulatory approval. Read on for AOL’s press release. More →

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Barnes & Noble steps into the ring with Microsoft, won’t bow to pressure over patents

By on November 21, 2011 at 1:30 PM.

Barnes & Noble steps into the ring with Microsoft, won’t bow to pressure over patents

If you are a company that has developed an Android product of any sort, chances are Microsoft has attempted to sue you or drag you in to an expensive licensing agreement. Samsung, HTC and ViewSonic are just a few of the larger firms that currently have deals in place with Microsoft. Barnes & Noble is the latest Android device maker to find itself in Microsoft’s line of fire, but it is not giving up the battle so easily. The retailer recently asked the Justice Department to probe the Redmond-based company over monopoly concerns and has accused the firm of “embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices.” Read on for more. More →

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Microsoft chasing down Huawei for Android patent license agreement

By on November 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM.

Microsoft chasing down Huawei for Android patent license agreement

Microsoft is chasing down Huawei in search of a patent licensing agreement, The Guardian reported on Tuesday. “Yes, Microsoft has come to us,” Huawei Devices chief marketing officer Victor Xu told The Guardian. “We always respect the intellectual property of companies. But we have 65,000 patents worldwide too. We have enough to protect our interests. We are a very important stakeholder in Android.” Xu also said that “negotiations are in progress” with Microsoft, which takes home an estimated $444 million annually from Android royalties. Microsoft has a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung and has similar deals with HTC, ViewSonic and other Android device vendors. It is expected that Microsoft may soon hunt down Amazon for an agreement related to its new Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet, too.  More →

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Microsoft squeezes more revenue from Android thanks to new Quanta deal

By on October 13, 2011 at 2:35 PM.

Microsoft squeezes more revenue from Android thanks to new Quanta deal

Microsoft announced on Thursday that Quanta Computer will begin licensing its patent technology for Android and Chrome-based smartphones and tablets. Microsoft will receive royalties from Quanta, but the terms of the deal not disclosed by either company. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace,” Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property, Horacio Gutierrez, said. Microsoft has similar agreements in place with HTC, Viewsonic, Acer and Samsung, among others. Analysts estimate Microsoft pulls in three to five times more revenue from Android royalties than it does from its own Windows Phone devices. More →

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Google: Microsoft extorts profits, hinders innovation and is failing in smartphone market

By on September 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM.

Google: Microsoft extorts profits, hinders innovation and is failing in smartphone market

Google issued an irate response to Microsoft’s cross-licensing agreement with Samsung, announced early Wednesday, in which Samsung will pay royalties to Microsoft for each Android smartphone sold. “This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft,” Google said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.” Microsoft has similar agreements in place with ViewSonic, HTC and Acer and analysts estimate Android pulls in three to five times the revenue that Windows Phone does for Microsoft. Read on for more. More →

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Amazon signs agreement with FOX; Netflix inks DreamWorks deal

By on September 26, 2011 at 7:00 PM.

Amazon signs agreement with FOX; Netflix inks DreamWorks deal

Amazon and Netflix both recently announced large content licensing deals. Over the weekend, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos said his company will provide Amazon Unbox customers with access to FOX content, bumping the Unbox library to more than 11,000 available movie and TV show titles. The new content includes 24, Arrested Development, Ally McBeal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files and The Wonder Years. Amazon is expected to announce a tablet during a press event on Wednesday and it is largely expected to offer access to all of Amazon’s services, including Unbox. Hit the break for more. More →

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Clearwire courting AT&T and Verizon in bid to raise cash for 4G LTE network

By on September 23, 2011 at 7:30 PM.

Clearwire courting AT&T and Verizon in bid to raise cash for 4G LTE network

Clearwire is in discussions to sell sell some of its wireless network capacity to Verizon Wireless and AT&T, Bloomberg reported recently. “All those discussions are under way,” Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch told Bloomberg. “I’m confident we’ll bring in new wholesale partners. Our message to the industry is that we’ve got the capacity to handle their needs.” However, it is more likely Clearwire is approaching the carriers in an effort to raise cash for its 4G LTE network plans. On August 3rd, Clearwire announced its intentions to build out a nationwide 4G LTE network but said those plans were “subject to additional funding.” Clearwire needs $600 billion to build its 4G LTE network. “We want to be the Switzerland of mobile broadband,” Prusch said, noting that his company is talking to, and willing to work with, anyone who needs network capacity.” In mid-August reports surfaced that Sprint was in talks to buy Clearwire outright in order to build its own LTE network. We expect we could hear more on Sprint and its Clearwire plans during a “Strategy Update” event on October 7th in New York City, where BGR will be reporting live. More →

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Microsoft continues to profit off Android

By on September 8, 2011 at 9:10 AM.

Microsoft continues to profit off Android

While sales of Microsoft’s burgeoning Windows Phone platform lag, the company continues to find significant revenue streams elsewhere in the mobile industry. Specifically, Google’s Android partners have proven to be an invaluable asset for the Redmond-based tech giant. Microsoft’s revenue from royalties HTC is forced to pay on each Android phone it sells is estimated to be between three and five times the company’s Windows Phone revenue, which could help explain why Microsoft has been so quiet to date when it comes to marketing its new mobile OS. Now, Microsoft has announced new agreements with ViewSonic and Acer that will bring in cash from two more Android vendors. Read on for more. More →

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Samsung will ‘never’ buy webOS, CEO says

By on September 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

Samsung will ‘never’ buy webOS, CEO says

During the IFA trade show in Berlin on Friday, Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee Sung addressed rumors and speculation that Samsung was considering purchasing webOS from HP. Choi said Samsung would “never” make the purchase, according to Bloomberg. “It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion,” he said. Samsung Mobile already has its own mobile operating system called bada and just released version 2.0. It also sells smartphones running Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. HP, which recently announced that it is ostensibly killing off the mobile operating system, has been working with other technology firms to license webOS. While Samsung may not buy webOS outright, the Korean-based company has held talks to license webOS for new smartphones, Bloomberg said, but it is still unclear how those discussions turned out. Considering the success Samsung is currently enjoying with Android and bada, however, we’re not sure HP will be able to convince Samsung that there is any real value in adopting an OS that it couldn’t even sell to users itself. More →

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Samsung acquires memory maker Grandis

By on August 3, 2011 at 3:00 AM.

Samsung acquires memory maker Grandis

Samsung announced on Tuesday that it has purchased Grandis, a maker of spin transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM). Grandis will be wrapped inside Samsung’s existing research and development branch where it will continue to work on memory semiconductor technology. According to its website, Grandis “holds a unique, broad patent portfolio in STT-RAM, including key fundamental and practical implementation patents, and licenses its IP to technology companies that design, develop and manufacture a variety of products incorporating stand-alone and embedded STT-RAM memory,” so we wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung made the purchase in an effort to boost its patent portfolio as part of ongoing legal battles with Apple. Details of the acquisition were not revealed and Samsung said the purchase is effective as of late July. Read on for the full press release. More →

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China shuts down two fake Apple Stores

By on July 25, 2011 at 4:31 PM.

China shuts down two fake Apple Stores

Chinese trade officials have raided and shut down two of five fake Apple Stores in Kunming, BBC News reported on Monday. The two stores weren’t closed for impersonating an Apple Store, instead both were shuttered for lacking business licenses. Travel blog BirdAbroad brought attention to the fake stores last week when it detailed one convincing shop in Kunming that sold real Apple products. That shop has not been closed because it “has a license to trade and is selling genuine Apple products,” BBC News said. Several of the store’s employees believe that they work for a real Apple Store. The Cupertino-based company has yet to respond to the growing number of illegitimate outlets. More →

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Lodsys goes after top-dog gaming firms Atari, EA, Rovio in patent suit

By on July 22, 2011 at 11:40 PM.

Lodsys goes after top-dog gaming firms Atari, EA, Rovio in patent suit

Lodsys, the company that has been accusing iOS and Android developers of illegally using its in-app purchasing technology, is now also targeting high-profile gaming firms such as Atari, Electronic Arts, Angry Birds lab Rovio, Square Enix and Take-Two Interactive. According to FOSS Patents, Lodsys had this to say about Rovio:

Defendant Rovio has infringed and continues to infringe, directly, indirectly, literally, under the doctrine of equivalents, contributorily, and/or through the inducement of other, one or more claims of the ’565 patent. Rovio makes, sells, uses, imports, and/or offers to sell infringing applications, including but not limited to Angry Birds for iPhone and Angry Birds for Android, which infringe at least claim 27 of ’565 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271.

Read on for more. More →

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Apple to pay Nokia in patent settlement

By on June 14, 2011 at 8:40 AM.

Apple to pay Nokia in patent settlement

On Tuesday Nokia announced that it has reached an agreement with Apple that “will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies,” and that both firms will withdraw all complaints against one another from the U.S. International Trade Commission. The two firms have been fighting over patents for the past few years, filing counter suit after counter suit. The battle was thought to have had some closure when the U.S. ITC ruled that Apple did not infringe on Nokia’s patents, but then last month the government group said it would continue its investigation. Nokia said Tuesday that the agreement “consists of a one-time payment payable by Apple,” and that the Cupertino-based company will continue to pay royalties to Nokia for the remainder of the agreement. “We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees,” said Stephen Elop, Nokia’s president and CEO. “This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.” Nokia’s full press release can be found after the break. More →

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