updated 10:50 am EDT, Fri November 4, 2011
Openwave makes Microsoft license its tech
Openwave gave a possible sign of things to come for the smartphone industry Friday after it successfully convinced Microsoft to license its patents. The Windows developer agreed to license the entire 200-patent catalog, which focuses mostly on cloud and wireless technology. The terms of the deal weren't given, although it's presumed Microsoft will pay a royalty.
It may add to the cost of licensing Windows Phone or to some Internet-aware apps at Microsoft.
The agreement comes just over two months after Openwave sued Apple and RIM over the same patents. Its ongoing complaint threatens to ban iPads, iPhones, BlackBerrys, and PlayBooks after Openwave allegedly didn't get a "substantive response" on offering a license.
Unlike the originators of most such lawsuits and forced license deals, Openwave has real products of its own, such as mobile Internet traffic management and messaging. The campaign has nonetheless been widely interpreted as compensation for a money-losing business. It lost money in its last fiscal year and had been expected to post a net loss of eight cents per share for the summer quarter. A surprise 11 cents per share profit didn't necessarily come from the Microsoft deal, but the license will likely help keep Openwave in profit where its core business has struggled.