updated 11:30 am EST, Mon January 16, 2012
Pantech in talks with Microsoft over Android tech
South Korean cellphone maker Pantech revealed on Monday it is talking with Microsoft about if it should pay royalties for the patents the software giant holds on Android-powered devices. No specific details have been worked out yet, however, a spokesperson said. How much the patent license is worth hasn't been revealed either.
Microsoft is requesting makers of handsets that use Google's free Android operating system pay it royalty fees for using what it calls essential technology for which it owns patents. This includes calendars, contacts, e-mail sync and notifications for apps, battery, and connections levels.
Most recently, Microsoft cross-licensed its patents with LG Electronics, but others have signed on, including Samsung, HTC, along with a number of other phone makers. Motorola is fighting Microsoft's rights to the patents. Quanta also signed a deal, as did Compal and Wistron, all of whom build devices under contract for other electronics brands.
Pantech recently introduced the Element tablet for AT&T that uses the 4G LTE network and is waterproof. It runs Android 3.2 and gets a 1.5GHz processor. It may have to hike the price in the future to cover licensing costs.