Microsoft and Dell Sign Patent Cross-License Agreement.
Mircosoft and Dell have recently signed a patent cross-licensing agreement, where Dell will pay Mircosoft royalties on products that will be based around Chrome OS and Android in return for patent protection.
In exchange, Dell will be licensing a certain undisclosed intellectual property back towards Microsoft, which is supposedly going to have an affect on the Xbox gaming console, according from a Microsoft representative.
Microsoft has signed a number of patent that tend to cross with other companies of all kinds, covering patents that the company has maintained as part of the Android operating system. For instance, during 2011, Microsoft had managed to signed a similar deal with Samsung, along with Foxconn, Velocity Micro, Wistron, Acer, Onkyo and ViewSonic among others.
Representative from both Dell and Microsoft have come out publicly and privately and downplaying the deal struck between the two, calling it the natural offshoot of a long, 30-year business relationship.
“Our agreement with Dell shows what can be accomplished when companies share intellectual property,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft, in a statement. “We have been partnering with technology manufacturers and vendors for many years to craft licensing deals, instead of litigation strategies.”
However, what this agreement does indicate are that PC makers are beginning to move away from their traditional dependence on Mircosoft. Mircosoft will start to enforce its patent rights. Sometime in 2011, Dell had decided to abandon its Dell Streak Tablet, which had indicated an ending towards its experiment with Android. Later on, Dell had managed to forcefully push its way back into space during the previous year with its near Venue tablet lineup. Dell had also announced a Chromebook, which runs off on Google’s ChromeOS operating system.
The company who managed to spearhead both Android and Chome, Google, has yet to compensate or legally protect any companies that have used either of Android or Chrome. Back during 2011, Microsoft had challenged Google to do just that, but Google failed in responding.
While Dell may now have to start paying royalty towards Microsoft for the use of Android and Chrome OS, the real message that other OEMs who choose to either follow Dells footstep might be at risk for the same treatment. This may not have an affect on HP, who signed a broad cross-licensing agreement with Mircosoft back in 2009.