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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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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