Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Will Amazon have to pay Microsoft for using Android in its new Kindle tablet?

The tech world is abuzz about Amazon’s new tablets, announced this morning at a press event in New York City. But will Amazon have to pay Microsoft royalties for using Android in at least one of its new tablets?

Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which will sell for $199, runs on Google’s Android software. (Amazon also announced other new offerings — including a $99 Kindle Touch and $79 Kindle starter — which don’t appear as if they run on the Android platform. We’ll update if we find out differently.)

The issue with devices that run on Android is that Microsoft says it has patents on technologies found in certain Android features. So it’s gone after companies that use Android on their phones or tablets, either suing them or reaching licensing agreements with them.

Just this morning, Microsoft announced a patent agreement with Samsung in which Samsung will pay Microsoft royalties for mobile phones and tablets running Android.

Microsoft and Amazon already have a patent cross-licensing agreement that involves existing Kindles, according to CNET News.

[Update 4:36 p.m.: Microsoft and Amazon’s cross-licensing agreement, reached in 2010, does not cover Android.

Microsoft declined to comment on whether it intends to either talk with, or a file a lawsuit against, Amazon over its new Android-based tablet.

Microsoft is protecting its intellectual property (IP) according to IP rules and also living by those rules, said Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel for Microsoft. He noted that Microsoft has paid out more than $4.5 billion over the last decade in IP royalties to “third parties that hold IP that we believe are essential for our products to be shipped.”]

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►