Microsoft took a break from suing the mobile industry to examine life on the other side of the coin as a patent licensee. The company has licensed dozens of patents related to smartphones, most of which originated from the creator of the software behind the pioneering Palm Treo devices.
Microsoft licensed the patents--74 of them in all--for undisclosed terms from Acacia Research Corp. and Access Co. Ltd., a Japanese company that acquired PalmSource, the firm behind the Palm operating system, in 2005, according to The Wall Street Journal. Microsoft didn't disclose how much it paid for the licenses.
Acacia has a long history of assembling patents and suing whomever it believes has run afoul of those patents. They've taken on video-streaming companies, Wi-Fi registration pages, and new licensee Microsoft over Windows boot technology.
The patents at issue in this licensing deal are "related to smartphones," according to WSJ, and are likely the same ones involved in lawsuits that Acacia has pending in Texas against Apple, RIM, and Motorola, among others.