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Microsoft Adds ViewSonic, Acer to Android Licensees

It is unclear how much money Microsoft will receive from the deal, but previous agreements, which include HTC, are said to be handing Microsoft somewhere between $7.50 to $12.50 per Android device sold, according to Citi analyst Walter Pritchard. HTC alone may be paying Microsoft about $100 million every quarter, based on shipments of currently about 11 million phones per quarter.

“We are pleased that ViewSonic is taking advantage of our industrywide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. “This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property.” Of course, the licensing agreement takes ViewSonic and Acer out of the legal crosshairs at Microsoft.

According to data just released by Lex Machina, 8 percent (or 24 out of 294) of patent infringement lawsuits filed in August targeted mobile products. Apple is involved in 97 of all open patent cases. It seems that the patent mess is just getting started as all major mobile platform companies have been building their defenses. For example, Google acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion, mainly for its huge patent portfolio.

Douglas Perry is an author and journalist from Portland, Oregon. His many articles have appeared in the likes of Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, The Oregonian, and several newspapers. He has covered topics including security, hardware, and cars, and has written five books. In his spare time, he enjoys watching The Sopranos.