Microsoft and Amazon signed a licensing agreement in February last year that covers technology used in the Kindle and various other products. That agreement does not cover Amazon’s new Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet, BGR has learned, which means Amazon could be coughing up hefty licensing fees to Microsoft in the near future. The Redmond-based company recently signed a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung and has similar deals in place with HTC, ViewSonic and other Android device vendors. Microsoft will take home an estimated $444 million in 2012 from Android royalties according to a recent Goldman Sachs report, and the Redmond-based firm’s warpath is likely to continue. Read on for more.
“In 2010, we signed a cross-licensing agreement with Amazon that includes coverage for Amazon’s popular e-reading device, Kindle, which employs both open source and Amazon’s proprietary software components, and Amazon’s use of Linux-based servers. Our agreement does not cover Android tablets,” a Microsoft spokesperson told BGR. “Amazon is a valued and respected business partner. Our previous agreement is a reflection of our ongoing collaboration and we look forward to building on this relationship.”
Microsoft said it will not comment on further action it may or may not take against Amazon related to the Kindle Fire, but considering the company’s recent moves, Microsoft may already be pursuing a new licensing agreement with Amazon similar to the deals it struck with HTC and Samsung. As Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith recently told AllThingsD during an interview, “So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents.”