Apple is currently locked in dozens of lawsuits around the world with various Android vendors, but the Cupertino-based company is apparently willing to negotiate terms that would end a number of its outstanding spats. According to sources speaking with Dow Jones Newswires, Apple has proposed settlements to at least two Android smartphone vendors. Under the terms of Apple’s proposed deals, which were reportedly offered to both Samsung and Motorola, the company would collect royalties of between $5 and $15 for each Android handset sold. If this report is accurate, the move represents a sharp departure from Apple’s strategy under former CEO Steve Jobs who vowed to spend every last dollar Apple had in an effort to destroy Android. ”I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said, according to Walter Isaacson’s recent biography of the Apple co-founder. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” More →
Nokia’s fourth-quarter earnings report painted a grim picture of the Finnish phone maker’s business last quarter, but amid the red numbers peppered throughout Nokia’s earnings release, the high-level terms of its agreement with Microsoft were revealed. In exchange for royalty payments estimated to reach into the billions over the life of the agreement, Microsoft makes quarterly “platform support payments” of $250 million to Nokia according to the vendor’s earnings report. Read on for more. More →
One week after announcing a similar deal with Quanta, Microsoft on Sunday revealed a new licensing arrangement with consumer electronics original design manufacturer Compal Electronics, Inc. The Redmond, Washington-based software company has reached a deal with Compal whereby it will receive royalty payments on sales of Compal’s tablets, cell phones, eReaders and other devices powered by Google’s Android or Chrome platforms. With this new deal in place, Microsoft also now holds licensing agreements with more than half of the worlds Android and Chrome ODMs. ”We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry,” Microsoft’s deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement. ”Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta Computer, today’s agreement with Compal means more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio. We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome.” Microsoft’s full statement follows below. More →
Microsoft mobile revenue continues to grow, though for the time being it seems as though the bulk of it is coming from Android. Goldman Sachs analysts on Thursday estimated that the software company will pull in approximately $444 million in fiscal 2012 from licensing deals made with various Android vendors such as HTC and Samsung, based on royalties of $3-$6 per Android device sold. Asymco’s Horace Dediu estimated in August that Microsoft took in approximately $21 million in revenue from Windows Phone licenses in the second quarter, and he believes the company earned roughly $60 million from Android royalties over the same period from HTC alone. With Samsung now paying Microsoft royalties along with HTC, Acer and other Android device vendors, Goldman Sachs’ estimate certainly seems feasible. More →
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 →
Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it has signed a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung. As a result, will pay Microsoft royalties for its Android-powered smartphones and tablets. Additionally, Microsoft said the two firms will continue to cooperate on the Windows Phone operating system. “Through the cross-licensing of our respective patent portfolios, Samsung and Microsoft can continue to bring the latest innovations to the mobile industry,” executive vice president of global product strategy at Samsung’s mobile communication division Dr. Won-Pyo Hong said. “We are pleased to build upon our long history of working together to open a new chapter of collaboration beginning with our Windows Phone “Mango” launch this fall.” Microsoft has similar agreements with HTC, Acer and ViewSonic, and it is estimated the company’s revenue from Android is three to five times greater than the revenue it receives from its own Windows Phone operating system. Read on for the full press release from Microsoft. More →
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 →
The International Trade Commission on Thursday reversed an earlier decision in a patent case that could cost camera maker Kodak hundreds of millions of dollars from Apple and RIM. Kodak had filed suit against both firms, claiming that their mobile devices infringed on multiple patents owned by the Rochester, NY-based company. An initial ruling in favor of Kodak was under ITC review, and the commission on Thursday reversed parts of the decision that had previously been ruled in Kodak’s favor. Other parts of the original ruling were sent to be examined by a judge of administrative law, and a final ruling is scheduled to be made on August 30th. More →
Deutsche Bank analyst Kai Korschelt on Tuesday estimated that Nokia stands to make a pretty penny off of royalty payments from Apple moving forward. Nokia announced early on Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with Apple regarding a series of patent disputes filed by each company over the past few years. Based on recent settlements tied to similar cases in the industry, Korschelt estimates that Apple will give Nokia a $608 million lump-sum payment up front. Following that initial payment, Apple will like pay Nokia a 1% royalty on all iPhones sold each quarter as a licensing fee. At Apple’s current pace — which has increased steadily rapidly since the iPhone first launched — that works out to approximately $138 million each quarter, or more than $550 million annually. More →
A firm named iCloud Communications has filed a lawsuit against Apple over its “iCloud” trademark. Apple announced the new cloud storage and sync service dubbed iCloud during its WWDC keynote last week, and iCloud Communications now wants the Cupertino-based tech giant to get rid of “all labels, signs, prints, insignia, letterhead, brochures, business cards, invoices and any other written or recorded material or advertisements” referring to the service. The company argues that Apple’s iCloud service is closely related to iCloud Communications’ business:
The goods and services with which Apple intends to use the “iCloud” mark are identical to or closely related to the goods and services that have been offered by iCloud Communications under the iCloud Marks since its formation in 2005. However, due to the worldwide media coverage given to and generated by Apple’s announcement of its “iCloud” services and the ensuing saturation advertising campaign pursued by Apple, the media and the general public have quickly come to associate the mark “iCloud” with Apple, rather than iCloud Communications.
iCloud Communications said that Apple consistently uses trademarks owned by others, and references other legal battles over trademarks for the iPhone, iAd, Mighty Mouse, iPad, and even the name Apple itself. The company is asking for “all monetary damages sustained and to be sustained … including lost profits and reasonable royalties,” as well as “all profits, gains and advantages obtained from Apple’s unlawful conduct,” in damages. More →
The International Trade Commission is set to determine at 5:00 p.m. EDT today whether or not it will review the decision in a patent infringement suit filed against Apple and RIM by Kodak last year. A federal judge ruled in January that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones did not infringe on Kodak patents, as the company alleged. Today, that case may be reopened if the ITC finds cause to do so. Kodak previously scored big against both Samsung and LG in similar patent disputes it filed in 2008. Both companies settled ahead of an ITC ruling in those cases, and Kodak made out with $550 million from Samsung and $414 million from LG. A win against Apple and RIM would likely yield similar gains according to Kodak CEO Antonio Perez. Kodak “deserves to win,” Perez proclaimed in an interview with Bloomberg. More →
First and foremost, Internet radio lovers have some serious cause for celebration as Pandora announces a somewhat workable resolution to the ongoing royalty dispute that nearly drove the company into the ground. By somewhat workable, we mean it’ll keep them in business but it’s still paying the highest royalty rate in radio. What does this mean for Pandora users? Well it means they can keep using Pandora of course, and 90 percent of users will experience no changes whatsoever. For the other 10 percent though — users who don’t pay for Pandora One but stream more than 40 hours of music per month — the free ride is over to an extent. Any non-subscriber who goes over 40 hours in a month will have to cough up $0.99 in order to continue streaming during that month. $0.99, as in less than a dollar… We’d say that’s pretty fair. In all seriousness though, if you’re listening to 480+ hours of Pandora per year and not supporting the company by forking over $36 for a year of Pandora One, well, you should definitely consider it. So congratulations to Pandora on ending a 2-year fiasco. It might not have been the best possible outcome but hey, if it keeps the company afloat it’s not all bad.
Talk about great reads. Muxtape founder Justin Ouellette finally let the cat out of the bag today and published a lengthy report of his recent trials and tribulations. For outsiders looking in, reading about dealings with the unmitigated disaster that is the music industry is like a guilty pleasure. Rage seems to build with each passing paragraph and one can’t help but think, “are they really this stupid?” Ouellette’s recount of his experiences in recent history fits the mold perfectly. The behind the scenes plan for Muxtape was anything but ill-intentioned; Ouelette had some pretty big ideas and spent a great deal of time reaching out to labels in an effort to move music consumption forward in a very symbiotic manner. In fact in the midst of an extended series of meetings with major labels that seemed to be progressing, albeit slowly, the RIAA struck without warning and dropped an axe that would force Muxtape to go offline. It registered a complaint with Amazon Web Services, Muxtape’s host, that required Muxtape to dump a launrdy list of content within one business day or risk having his data deleted and servers shut down. The rest, as they say, is history.
Ouelette has plans to relaunch as a service geared exclusively toward bands:
The new Muxtape will allow bands to upload their own music and offer an embeddable player that works anywhere on the web, in addition to the original muxtape format. Bands will be able to assemble an attractive profile with simple modules that enable optional functionality such as a calendar, photos, comments, downloads and sales, or anything else they need.
This is a far cry from the original Muxtape model and it will likely have a much more difficult climb in terms of being widely adopted. Here at BGR, we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for the relaunch and we wish Ouellette all the success in the world. As for the RIAA and music industry in general, it is becoming increasingly difficult to support any means of music distribution that puts money in their pockets. The dilemma of course is in order to financially support the bands you enjoy, you are also feeding the hand that bites. Talk about a catch 22. Whatever, music industry. Keep doing things your way because it seems to really be working out well for you. We’re sure people will be lining up in droves to buy music on microSD cards. You know, just like how we all went running out to get their hands on Ringles. That went over really well.
Do yourself a favor and hit the read link.