Microsoft puts money where patent mouth is, buys license for 74 “foundational” smartphone patents

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Windows Phone 7, now with PalmSource inside
Windows Phone 7, now with PalmSource inside

Microsoft has always insisted there is no such thing as a smartphone OS not reliant on patents from others.  They have now taken further steps to make sure their new mobile OS will not be subject to the same patent battle as currently descending on other smartphone makers, in some cases originating from Microsoft.

Microsoft has licensed 74 patents from patent holding company Acacia Research Corp, some which originated from Access Co. LTD, the company which acquired PalmSource in 2005.

Paul Ryan, CEO of Acacia, said the patents in question were “foundational” in the smartphone market.

“By focusing on efficiently licensing patented innovations from other companies, we’re free to develop great software and we’re able to provide our partners and customers [intellectual property] peace-of-mind,” David Kaefer, general manager of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft, said in a statement.

Acacia is currently involved in a pending law suit in federal court against Apple Inc., Blackberry-maker Research In Motion Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola Inc. and other smartphone makers, but not Microsoft, for features such as email synchronization and providing phone capabilities from personal computer devices.

Microsoft has a unique advantage over Android of being able to simplify significantly the work of smartphone OEMs by offering a product with all relevant patent fees already included, and indemnification for patents in dispute.  Google has so far not offered any support for OEMs using their software, many who have so far already been subject to litigation for infringement by Android from numerous sources.

Read more at Wallstreet Journal here.

More about the topics: access, microsoft, patents, windows phone 7