We’re seeing a heavy surge in Microsoft’s relentless pursuit of licensing deals in light of recent patent-infringement claims. Wistron Corp, a spinoff of Acer, is the latest company to make an agreement with Microsoft in a string of lawsuits and royalty clashes that’s spanned the course of two months. While we’ve seen Android suppliers such as Itronix and Velocity Micro come to agreements with the folks in Redmond, as well as others like Motorola and Barnes & Noble becoming courtroom fodder, this is the first time Chrome OS has been targeted. Wistron’s an ODM (original design manufacturer) that supplies other companies with computers, tablets and e-readers using either Google OS, so it’s not necessarily a surprise that it signed up for the Microsoft lawsuit prevention plan. Scant details are available aside from the fact that royalties will be collected as a result. Now that Chrome is involved, it not only shows that Team Ballmer isn’t backing down, it appears to have even more companies in its crosshairs — we just wonder who’s next on the list. Full (albeit brief) PR after the break.
Microsoft and Wistron come to terms in royalty agreement, Android and Chrome OS now targeted originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Jul 2011 15:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
There’s little doubt that today’s smartphones are pocketable computers — they’re equally or more powerful than the desktop PCs of yesteryear — but what about dumbphones? Well, in US v. Kramer, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals just held that a Motorola Motorazr V3 fits the federal statutory definition for a computer — and quoted Woz in the opinion: “Everything has a computer in it nowadays.” Seems a bit silly to call a RAZR a computer, but courts can only interpret existing laws, not make new ones — and US law says a computer is “an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions.” Because this was the first time a federal appeals court had ruled on the issue, the Eighth Circuit set a precedent that other courts are likely to follow. And yes, the court is aware such a definition may include microwaves and coffee makers, and informed Congress that it should change the law if it doesn’t like it. Regardless of whether you agree, this interpretation added some jail time for a guy who pled guilty to trying to engage in sexual activity with a minor, so the mild absurdity of it all is fine by us. Somewhere Chris Hansen is smiling.
Eighth Circuit declares RAZR a computer under federal law originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 12 Feb 2011 21:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.