Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has established a large patent portfolio over the years, a few of which are actually used in the Android operating system platform that was designed by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Nikon has developed innovative digital camera technology. And while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trying to compete against Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) directly, Microsoft is making a decent share of money with Android due to patent deals. And now Nikon is looking for a way to get into the Android universe with its cameras.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) now is working with Nikon to continue developing technology on the Android platform. It was announced this week that Nikon has agreed to a patent-licensing agreement with Microsoft which would allow Nikon to begin to incorporate its technology onto the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. Could this be an early step toward developing high-quality digital cameras on smartphones and tablets that Google produces? Terms of the deal are not disclosed, but Microsoft is expected to receive royalties from Nikon for using Microsoft’s patents. Since 2003, Microsoft reports that it has entered into more than 1,000 licensing agreements with major companies like Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer and Barnes & Noble.
In a statement announcing the agreement, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) licensing chief David Kaefer said, “Microsoft and Nikon have a long history of collaboration, and this agreement further demonstrates the value that both companies place on responsible IP licensing. Microsoft is proud to align with a leader in the digital camera industry to license Android technology for the benefit of Nikon’s customers.” It was reported that thanks to its various patent-licensing deals, Microsoft has 70-percent penetration into Android devices in the U.S. And considering the popularity of Android in the U.S. there might not be a need to cry a river for Microsoft if its Windows 8 operating system doesn’t take off.
What do you think? What might this deal mean for Nikon and Android devices? We’d like your thoughts about this in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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