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Microsoft scores again with Onkyo Android patent deal

Jun 30, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Directly following Android-related patent agreements with General Dynamics Itronix and Velocity Micro this week, Microsoft announced a similar agreement with Onkyo regarding Android tablets. In other Android-related legal news, Oracle announced it is demanding $2.6 billion in payments from Google in its Android patent lawsuit, but the total amount could swell to over $6 billion if Oracle wins triple damages.

Maybe it doesn't matter whether Windows Phone takes off or not — Microsoft is already making a bundle off of Android. The ultra-litigious software giant has entered into its third legal agreement of the week related to patents it claims aspects of Android infringe.

After corralling General Dynamics Itronix, apparently over its tactical GD300 handheld, the company moved on to sign up Velocity Micro due to alleged patent breaches on its Cruz tablets. Now consumer electronics firm Onkyo Corp. is the latest to cough up an undisclosed amount rather than fight Redmond's lawyers, reports eWEEK.

As usual, no terms were listed, nor was the substance of the patent agreement explained except to say that it involves Android. Interestingly, though, none of the devices that appear to be affected by these agreements are smartphones. Last year HTC signed a similar agreement, which has reportedly led to payments by HTC of up to $5 per Android phone (and presumably, it's paying per Android tablet as well).

Onkyo's TA117

Microsoft is likely to make considerably less from Onkyo, which appears to have shipped only one Android tablet, the 10.1-inch TA117. Announced the last week of 2010, the Android 2.2-based tablet appears to be a rebadged version of the ViewSonic G-Tablet.

The TA117 comes with a 1GHz Tegra 250 processor, and offers 512MB or 1GB of RAM, 8GB or 16GB of flash storage, a 10.1-inch screen with 1024 x 600 resolution, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 1.3 megapixel camera.

Oracle clarifies Google demands

Two weeks ago, Oracle disclosed that it was asking for damages running into the billions of dollars in its patent lawsuit against Google regarding the use of Java patents in Android. Now the company filed papers clarifying the number as $2.6 billion, as reported in another eWEEK story.

In its June 28 filing, Oracle indicated it desires $2.6 billion from Google, split between a $900,000 to $1.4 billion up-front payment, plus a revenue share of between 10 and 15 percent of Google's mobile advertising sales generated from Android phones. This is considerably less than the 50 percent split Google alleged Oracle wanted, and less even than the 20 percent-plus royalty the search engine Google suggested Oracle was after, says eWEEK.

Yet, intellectual property expert Florian Mueller told eWEEK that Oracle could still win as much as triple the $2.6 billion figure, or over $6 billion, if Google is found to have infringed willfully, which Oracle has asserted. Another scenario is that Google might be ordered to make technical changes to Android to assuage some of the fragmentation Oracle alleged Android has inflicted on Java.

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