Microsoft inks Android patent deal with Itronix, causes more heads to explode

We've already noted our slip into Bizarro World, a strange and topsy-turvy land where -- thanks to patent-infringement claims -- Microsoft strikes licensing deals with Android device makers. Redmond has used a carrot-and-stick strategy thus far, suing competing manufacturers (Barnes and Noble, Motorola) while reaching a protective royalty agreement with HTC, which, not coincidentally, also makes Windows Phones. Today, another company joins the licensee list: General Dynamics Itronix, known for its rugged computers, some of which do run Windows. Neither company offered much in the way of details, other than declaring that Itronix will pay royalties, but we've no reason to believe it's too different from HTC's arrangement. See the press release after the break for an excellent example of terse, unrevealing business-speak.

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Microsoft and General Dynamics Itronix Sign Patent Agreement

Agreement will cover General Dynamics Itronix devices running the Android platform.

REDMOND, Wash., June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. and General Dynamics Itronix have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for General Dynamics Itronix devices running the Android platform. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from General Dynamics Itronix under the agreement.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with General Dynamics Itronix, which is an example of how industry leaders address intellectual property," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.

Mark Johnston, director of Strategic Computing Solutions for General Dynamics Itronix, said, "The completion of this agreement enables Itronix to meet the evolving demands of our customers with more diverse applications and increased functionality in products that incorporate the Android platform."

Microsoft's Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property

The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 700 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft's significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.

More information about Microsoft's licensing programs is available at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.