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Microsoft pushes General Dynamics into Android patent deal

updated 09:50 am EDT, Mon June 27, 2011

General Dynamics avoids Microsoft lawsuit threat

Rugged PC builder General Dynamics Itronix on Monday became the latest company pushed into signing a patent deal with Microsoft simply by choosing to use Android. The firm will pay Microsoft an unspecified amount in royalties for every device it makes running the Google OS. Although GDI doesn't make any Android devices yet, the company's Strategic Computing Solutions lead Mark Johnston has used the deal to tout Android as a superior alternative for some parts of his company's currently Windows-only lineup.

"The completion of this agreement enables Itronix to meet the evolving demands of our customers with more diverse applications and increased functionality in products that incorporate the Android platform," he says.

Similar to its approach to trying to stifle competition from Linux, Microsoft believes it owns patents inherent to Android and signs patent deals with companies only under the threat of a lawsuit if they don't comply. The company is also believed to have dual standards where its aggressiveness and rates change depending on relative support for Windows or Windows Phone. Dell, LG, and Samsung haven't made public showings of signing an Android deal with Microsoft, but key Android supporter HTC has made a deal even with WP7 phones.

Barnes & Noble, which not only doesn't but can't use any Microsoft platforms, has accused Microsoft of charging extortionate rates closer to those of a desktop OS simply because its Android-based Nook readers are more tablet-like.

Apple has also been suing Android makers with discouraging competition as a primary goal, but its focus has been on case-by-case disputes rather than blanket assertions that it owns licensing rights for another company's entire platform.

By Electronista Staff


  1. gprovida

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 2006


    Apple welcome competition, not copycats.

    "... Apple has also been suing Android makers with discouraging competition as a primary goal, but its focus has been on case-by-case disputes rather than blanket assertions that it owns licensing rights for another company's entire platform. ..."

    Another wording might be, Apple is suing to Android makers who copy in detail arguably clone the iPhone to point that the differences are hard to find.

    Innovation is great, but Apple made a huge leap into the dark on the iPhone [anyone want to bring up comments about no keyboard from "electonista"] and so can legitimately want to earn the value from that investment and risk. Innovation is NOT copy and clone, and as Microsoft has demonstrated in Windows 7 Phone and HP in WebOS, and I suspect eventually Google with Chrome, it can be done it takes time, money, and imagination.

    Most Android phone makers would rather not do this and Apple is suing, good for Apple. Apple will compete vigorously with MS and HP and perhaps Chrome, but Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola are not competitors.

    If you want to see more ground breaking innovations, then respect for real invested and deployed [not trolls] IP.

  1. bonaccij

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003


    I agree

    Everyone keeps telling me that "pinch-to-zoom" shouldn't be patented... but when I ask them who was doing this before Apple - nobody has an answer. Also, the whole inertial scrolling thing... that is small - but big in the UI. I think the general idea of touch interfaces can't legally be patented as humans touch everything. But - I do think that there are certainly some UI factors in iOS that Apple should aggressively control and seek patents for and enforce those patents. Otherwise, yeah, they did all this work for nothing.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Lie Down With Exceptionally Dirty Dogs ...

    ... wake up with gigantic fleas, humungous ticks, dubious royalty payments, insidious worms, etc.

  1. Paradise Pete

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2007


    Primary goal

    "Apple has also been suing Android makers with discouraging competition as a primary goal"

    Is there any actual evidence of that, or is that opinion presented as fact?

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Hey Pete: it's called a "link". You can click it.

    Pete- look at the last paragraph of the post. The phrase "suing Android makers" is underlined. This means that it is a hyperlink to another web page. When you click such a hyperlink (or "link," for short) it will take you to that other web page. Here is the page that "suing Android makers" links to:

    Also, for more information on what hyperlinks are in general:

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    What a waste!

    Don't these people know that Sun will have Google destroying all instances of Android and any device that uses it once they sue them in court?

  1. SillyPooh

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: May 2000


    Bad title

    Shouldn't it be "Android/Google pushes General Dynamics into Microsoft patent deal"?

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    re: What a waste!

    Sun? ROFL!
    Nice one testudo.

    Oh the Oracle lawsuit isn't looking too rosy at the moment either.


    - Sent from my Android Device.

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