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06 August 2012, 16:18

Honeywell signs Android patent agreement with Microsoft

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Microsoft Android icon American conglomerate Honeywell International has signed a patent agreement with Microsoft to cover its devices running the open source Android and Chrome OS operating systems. The patent deal comes alongside the introduction of a version of the company's Dolphin 7800 enterprise digital assistant (EDA) running Google's Android mobile operating system; Honeywell already offers a version of the Dolphin 7800 that ships with Microsoft's Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 OS.

While the specific terms are being kept confidential, the deal means that Honeywell will be "broadly covered" by Microsoft's patent portfolio and that the company will pay Microsoft royalties for each Android or Chrome OS-based device that it sells. In the past, agreements of this type are believed to have included a royalty of $10-$15 per device. According to the Wall Street Journal, Honeywell is the 15th firm to sign a patent-licensing agreement Microsoft over Android devices.

Microsoft claims that an undisclosed set of its patents are infringed by the Android and Chrome OS operating systems. Other vendors that have signed what are believed to be royalty bearing licensing agreements with Microsoft for patent coverage include HTC, General Dynamics Itronix and Velocity Micro, Onkyo, Wistron, Acer and Viewsonic, Samsung, Compal, LG, Coby Electronics and Aluratek. In January of this year, Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez, corporate VP and deputy general counsel of the company's Intellectual Property Group, said that more than 70% of all smartphones sold in the United States are already covered by Microsoft's patent portfolio licences.


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