Nikon and Microsoft Sign a Patent Licensing Agreement for Android Powered Cameras

/ 5 years ago

Microsoft have signed an agreement with Nikon to enable the company to manufacture cameras powered by the Android OS. Microsoft have signed up with more than 1,000 licensing agreements via their IP licensing program. It includes companies such as Samsung LG, Acer, HTC and even recently with a German based company “Hoeft & Wessel” and Cat brand owner EINS.

Microsoft’s 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.”

The amount of the specifics in the agreements are not disclosed, but as TNW indicated, it is believed that Samsung pays $10-$15 per unit to Microsoft., but this isn’t the first time a company is powering up their cameras with the Android OS. Samsung released their android powered Galaxy camera some months ago, whereas Poloroid showed off their non-working prototype iM836 camera with interchangeable lenses and android powered OS, said to be priced around $350 USD.

More and more companies are looking forward to shift their attention towards smart cameras where it can connect to the internet and looking at the trends as of now, it only makes sense that many will consider Android as their natural choie of OS.

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If you’re wondering why would a company need to pay Microsoft any form of royalty if Android (an open source OS) belongs to Google? Two words: Patent Claims. It’s because of this and the way the patent system works, together with the potential that Android OS has, many companies have no choice but to sign licensing agreements with Microsoft to protect themselves against patent infringement lawsuits.

If one is looking this way, any products backed by the Android OS will in turn make money for Microsoft for practically doing nothing other than owning a patent. As of now, Android powers up multiple tablets and phones from many manufacturers irrespective of the tier, followed by cameras. Who knows? Many would see the potential of it to have it in NAS products or routers? Microsoft will earn a lot more money if and when that happens.

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