Report: Microsoft targeting Acer, Asustek over Android

Asustek said no and Acer declined to comment on reported legal tussles with Microsoft over Android

Microsoft may be looking to add to its existing patent infringement case related to the use of Google's Android mobile phone software by targeting phone makers in Taiwan, according to a Chinese-language news report.

Taiwan's Commercial Times newspaper reported that the U.S. software giant is taking aim at Asustek Computer and Acer over their use of Android in smartphones. The newspaper says Microsoft representatives are in Taiwan seeking royalties for use of its patents.

Asustek emphatically denied the news report, saying it respects intellectual property rights, in a statement filed to the Taiwan Stock Exchange late Monday.

Acer declined to comment.

Microsoft could not immediately be reached for comment.

Early this month, Microsoft filed a lawsuit in a U.S. federal court and a complaint to the International Trade Commission against Motorola and its Android handsets, saying the phones infringe nine Microsoft patents.

Android has also come under fire from Apple, which has sued smartphone maker HTC, saying HTC's Android handsets violate some iPhone patents. Oracle has sued Google over Android as well, saying the smartphone software uses some technology found in Java.

Google developed Android mobile phone software as an open platform for phone makers to use and modify to suit their needs. The software also ties to a lot of Google services on the Web and Google earns advertising revenue from the platform. During a conference call to discuss its earnings, Google executives said Android is now earning about US$1 billion in revenue on a yearly basis.

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Tags intellectual propertyMicrosoftlegalAndroidacerAsustek Computer

More about AcerAppleAsustekAsustek ComputerGoogleHTCInternational Trade CommissionMicrosoftMotorolaOracle


Lawrence D'Oliveiro


Are they? What right does Microsoft have to come to Taiwan and demand royalty payments there?

Dave Lane


Microsoft know that if Windows Phone 7 fails, they're dead. So, to make up for their inexcusably slow start, in addition to flinging FUD at their competition, they're trying to knee cap them with patent lawsuits as well (which are almost certainly undeserved, and may or may not be found valid by the courts, but will certainly cost a bomb, produce nothing of use, and possibly slow things down). Good luck with that, Microsoft.



Have the patents even been named? This MS FUD against Linux has been ongoing for years and so far very few companies (Novell, TomTom, HTC) have settled, without the patent list ever being known afaik. Why try and win with good products when you can win with good lawyers?

Grant Paton-Simpson


The sooner we get rid of software patents the better. Like I said in the subject, those who can, compete. Those who can't, sue.

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How can Kiwi CIOs compete when every NZ business unit is a tech startup?