Android Patent Lawsuit Hell Grows: Microsoft’s now cover half of devices

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Yah, you read that right. As of today, Microsoft’s patent licensing agreements with Android manufacturers now cover more than half of all Android devices,  thanks to the recent addition of Taiwan-based Compal.

Compal is the tenth company to form an Android licensing deal with Microsoft, and it’s joining more well-known Android manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and Acer. Companies get protected under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for a fee, which protects them from further patent litigation from Microsoft, as well as from others (like Apple).

“Amidst continuing clamor about uncertainty and litigation relating to smartphone patents, we’re putting in place a series of agreements that are reasonable and fair to both sides,” wrote Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s general counsel and deputy general counsel, in a blog post today.  “Our agreements ensure respect and reasonable compensation for Microsoft’s inventions and patent portfolio. Equally important, they enable licensees to make use of our patented innovations on a long-term and stable basis.”

Microsoft spends $4.6 Billion on Android Patents, impacts 50% of Android devices

The Android Patent Mess, Now Featuring Microsoft!

Microsoft boasts that it has spent over $4.5 billion in the past decade to license patents from other companies — a figure that shows its dedication to respecting intellectual property rights, according to Smith and Gutierrez. The big takeaway here: Microsoft respects IP by licensing responsibly, so it expects other companies to do the same.

Read the full story at Venture Beat Online…


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Fake Netflix App Stole User IDs, Passwords [CNET.com]

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Netflix Android App: Real vs. Fake versions

Netflix Android App: Real vs. Fake versions

It looks like a legitimate Netflix app, but it’s not.

There’s an Android app circulating that looks very much like the real Netflix mobile app, but it’s actually a Trojan that steals account information.

The fake app, which was found on an online user forum, sends the user’s log-in information to a remote server and displays a message saying there is an incompatibility issue with the hardware and then attempts to uninstall itself, according to a Symantec blog post.The server that was receiving the stolen log-in data appeared to be offline today, Symantec said.

Read the full story on CNET.com…

Finding android apps just got a lot easier

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For all the improvements the Android Market has made recently, it’s still been a pain to find new and interesting apps—increasingly so, now that Google’s app storefront has grown to 200,000 programs strong. Not anymore.

As part of the second day of Google’s I/O conference, the company introduced some much-needed discovery tools to Android Market:

  • Top App charts, to show you what’s popular;
  • Editor’s Choice, to show you what’s curated;
  • Top Developers, to hook you up with the (150+) cool kid devs;
  • Related Apps, based on what you’ve bought before;
  • and Trending Apps, which helps you keep up with what’s popular at that.very.second.

All of those changes are effective right now, so happy hunting. As for future treats:

Soon the Android Market will support apps up to 4GB in size, and starting in June developers will be able to exclude devices to avoid any compatibility issues.

Which, uh, might be sad news for those of us who thought Android fragmentation was dead and/or dying.

Read the full article at Gizmodo…