Innovation Asset Blog

Microsoft filling mobile gap with patent strategy

Microsoft could soon make strides in the mobile marketplace when Windows Phone 8 and the Surface tablet hit shelves later in the year, but as it stands the company is still well behind Apple and Google in terms of total subscribers. To help address this discrepancy in the short term, Microsoft has decided to cash in on the popularity of mobile devices from a different angle in its latest patent strategy.

The software giant will continue its commitment to licensing the contents of its intellectual property portfolio in two separate agreements with leading consumer electronics brands Coby and Aluratek, each a major distributor of smartphones, tablets and other devices running on Google's Android and Chrome platforms.

Although the specific terms of the deals have not been disclosed, the parties have confirmed that Microsoft will receive royalties from the two firms in exchange for component technology.

"We are pleased to have reached [these agreements]," said Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez. "We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome."

According to PC Magazine, this move means more than 70 percent of all Android devices in the U.S. are now covered by a Microsoft licensing agreement. As a result, the market success of rival mobile manufacturers is not entirely bad news for the company's profit margins.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.