agreement Stories June 5, 2015


Google has been facing legal heat in Europe for several users over how it handles and collects user data as well as its monopoly-like actions, but today the company finally admitted that it has made some mistakes. Google’s European chief executive Matt Brittin stated today to Politico that Google has failed to make its intentions well-known in Europe.

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agreement Stories December 16, 2014

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Google and Verizon announced on Tuesday that they have entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement to “reduce the risk” of future litigation (via VentureBeat). Both companies expressed interest in reaching similar agreements with other large tech companies in an effort to thwart patent trolls that assert their patents in the courtroom in an effort to pad their pockets. expand full story

agreement Stories September 25, 2014

Google updates Play Store DDA with changes to customer support requirements, Google-handled VAT

Google has updated the Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) with a few notable changes that developers will likely want to pay attention to (via Android Police). First on the list, developers are now required to respond to customer service requests for paid apps and in-app purchases within 3 days.

For paid Products or in-app transactions, you must respond to customer support inquiries within three (3) business days, and within 24 hours to any support or Product concerns stated to be urgent by Google. Failure to provide adequate information or support for your Products may result in low Product ratings, less prominent product exposure, low sales, billing disputes, or removal from the Store.

Secondly, a huge change to how European VAT is handled is definitely going to make developers’ lives much easier. While developers have long been expected to handle the VAT tax for EU sales, Google is going to take over this task as of January 1st, 2015. Determining, charging, and remitting this tax is going to all be up to the fine folks in Mountain View.

Where Google, the Payment Processor or the Authorized Carrier is required by applicable (local) legislation to determine, apply and pay the applicable tax rate, Google, the Payment Processor or the Authorized Carrier (and not Developer) will be responsible for applying and collecting and remitting the taxes to the appropriate taxing authority. If Google collects and remits value added taxes on customer payments (where required of Google by applicable local law) and this remittance fulfils the applicable requirements for value added taxes on those customer payments, such taxes will not be passed on to Developer by Google. Where Google is required to collect and remit taxes as described in this section, Developer and Google will recognise a supply from Developer to Google for tax purposes, and developer will comply with the relevant tax obligations arising from this additional supply.

agreement Stories April 22, 2014


Sprint will offer an unlocking service for all devices on its network released after February 11, 2015, according to the company’s unlocking policy (via Android Police). This means that Sprint will support unlocking a device to use it on other carriers in the United States, as the company calls this a “domestic unlock.”

This change is due to various factors. More devices offer compatibility with both GSM and CDMA networks than ever before. More importantly, however, are the newer agreements between carriers. Sprint has signed the CTIA’s Consumer Code for Wireless Service, which includes an Unlocking Commitment statement. These new policy changes bring Sprint’s stance on unlocking devices in compliance with these standards. expand full story

agreement Stories January 26, 2014


Samsung announced in a press release today that the South Korean company has signed an agreement with Google to mutually license one another’s existing patents as well as all patents filed over the next decade.

The agreement follows countless patent lawsuits between Samsung and Apple regarding hardware implementations of various cellular technologies as well as mobile software design and features.

“This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry,” said Dr. Seungho Ahn, the Head of Samsung’s Intellectual Property Center. “Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.”

Since Google and Samsung don’t typically engage in patent battles with each other, the contract doesn’t seem poised to actually prevent many lawsuits. The move will likely prove to be more symbolic of the companies’ commitment to collaboration than an attempt to quell disputes.

agreement Stories January 16, 2012

Microsoft is not stopping on its mission to sign patent licensing agreements with just about every Android vendor around from Samsung to Acer, and over 10 others. As of its latest agreement with LG, the company now collects royalties from over 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the United States. According to a deal with HTC inked in May, that figure could be as much as $5 per device sold. Now, Microsoft is apparently in talks with Pantech, South Korea’s third biggest smartphone vendor, for a similar licensing agreement.

Pantech confirmed the discussions to Yonhap News (via The Next Web):

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agreement Stories November 14, 2011

Ever wonder what patents Microsoft has been using to sign up Android vendors such as Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Acer, and over 10 others in cross-licensing agreements? Just last week Barnes & Noble asked US regulators to probe Microsoft’s anti-Android strategy, which sees the company collecting millions in profits from royalties paid by just about anyone shipping Android on their devices.

In their initial letter to the Department of Justice, Barnes & Noble claims Microsoft’s patents “cover only arbitrary, outmoded and non-essential design features,” and today we get a look into exactly what they’re talking about thanks to a detailed report from Groklaw of the exhibits attached to B&N’s letter.

Below B&N walks us through some of the patents Microsoft claims the Nook infringes on and also describes their stance for each. These could very well be some of the same patents the company is using to collect royalties from other Android vendors, patents B&N describe as only covering “trivial and non-essential design elements in Android”. expand full story

agreement Stories September 8, 2011

It’s no secret that Microsoft makes more money off Android then their own quickly failing phone business, thanks to licensing agreements with HTC which see a royalty paid to the company for every Android HTC device sold. A new licensing agreement with ViewSonic will see Microsoft again collecting royalties off ViewSonic’s smartphone and tablet devices running Android or Chrome.

Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing Horacio Gutierrez had the following to say about the agreement:

“We are pleased that ViewSonic is taking advantage of our industrywide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues,” he continued, “this agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property.”

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