Microsoft and Nikon have signed a patent licensing deal over Android-powered cameras, as the digital camera maker has recently started selling such cameras and they are using Microsoft’s intellectual property.
Microsoft makes more money thanks to Android than it makes with its own Windows Phone operating system. The reason for that is that the Android OS uses a technology that is a part of the Windows intellectual property.
In January 2012, the Redmond-based company started receiving royalties from more than 70% of all Android smartphones sold in the United States, after striking a deal with LG.
Nikon safe to develop Android cameras, following Microsoft patent licensing agreement
The list of Android licensees covers tablet and other device makers as well. Nikon is the latest company to sign a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft.
The digital imaging manufacturer released its first Android-powered camera in August 2012 and this agreement suggests that Nikon will keep making such shooters.
In order to avoid any legal troubles, Nikon has decided to license technology from Microsoft. The two companies did not disclose the terms of the deal. However, they confirmed that the camera maker will pay royalties to the Windows OS developer.
General Manager of Intellectual Property at Microsoft, David Kaefer, was proud to extend the company’s collaboration with Nikon. Kaefer added that Nikon’s customers will benefit from this licensing agreement, which will allow the digital imaging firm to continue its development plans, without worrying for legal troubles.
Almost all Android device makers pay royalties to Microsoft
Microsoft is committed to its IP licensing program, says the press release. Ever since December 2003, Microsoft has signed more than 1,100 patent licensing deals with hundreds of partners, including Acer, Barnes & Noble, HTC, LG, and Samsung.
Motorola is one of the few remaining companies which have not signed a deal with Microsoft. The Android smartphone maker was purchased by Google for $12.5 billion in 2011. Microsoft and Motorola are involved in numerous lawsuits across the world, after the latter’s refusal to pay royalties to the former.
Nikon has not announced plans for a new Android-powered camera. The first shooter of its kind is the Coolpix S800c. This Android digital camera features Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen, WiFi, GPS, CMOS sensor with 10x optical zoom, and full HD 1080p video recording.
For the time being, it is unclear whether Nikon will launch other Android cameras, but, if it does, then it will most likely pay royalties to Microsoft for each unit sold.