The Android Express has taken Google and a number of manufacturers on a dizzying ride to the top of the smartphone market. But with Android’s patent strength increasingly under fire and companies lining up for their share of licensing fees, is the platform headed off the tracks?
That’s becoming more of a pressing question. As I wrote about earlier this week, Microsoft could be poised to turn Android into its next billion-dollar business if it can get enough Android licensees to agree to pay royalties due to alleged infringed use of Microsoft patents. Oracle has now reportedly stepped up a similar campaign and is approaching Android manufacturers with an offer to join an early adopters program that would have them pay $15 to $20 a handset, according to Network World, which quoted Jonathan Goldberg, an analyst with Deutsche Bank.
Network World said none of the companies has taken up the offer, which Oracle has declined to confirm. But if true, it would signal a new headache for Google. The company is being sued by Oracle over Android’s use of Java, which Oracle acquired the rights to when it bought Sun. Oracle is reportedly seeking $2.6 billion in damages in the suit.
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Can patent licensing fees derail the Android express? — Tech News and Analysis.