Another company using Android has agreed to cough up patent licensing fees to Microsoft, as the IP shakedown continues. Velocity Micro follows General Dynamics Itronix in settling up with Microsoft for use of unspecified mobile patents relating to its current and future Cruz Android tablets, such as the three models revealed at CES back in January.
The exact terms of the deal have not been made public, nor exactly what Velocity Micro will be paying Microsoft. Still, it’s all money in the bank for the company, which is believed to make more money from royalties on Android handsets sold than it does on licensing out Windows Phone to its own OEM customers. Back in May, analysts estimated that HTC paid Microsoft $5 for every Android device it sold.
At the time, it was suggested that Microsoft was chasing even higher fees – as much as $7.50 to $12.50 per device – from other Android device makers. Velocity Micro CEO Randy Copeland puts a brave face on it – “By entering into this agreement with Microsoft,” he says, “Velocity Micro, Inc., will be able to better meet the needs of our customers with the introduction of exciting new Cruz tablets having increased performance and functionality” – but you can bet they’re not pleased at having to hand over any cash at all having adopted what many saw as a “free” platform.