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Is Android Microsoft's next cash cow?

Publication Date: 
July 08, 2011
Source: 
The Seattle Times
Author: 
Sharon Pian Chan

Professor Mark Lemley is quoted by Sharon Pian Chan of The Seattle Times on why large companies like Microsoft and Google have so far avoided suing each other directly in a time full of smartphone litigation.

In the hunt for the next billion-dollar business, Microsoft may have discovered one in mobile software. It costs Microsoft nothing to produce and sell, and it's not Windows Phone.

It's Android, the wildly popular -- and free -- mobile-phone software made by competitor Google.

In the past nine months, Microsoft has gone after a handful of companies that make Android phones and tablets.

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Law professor Mark Lemley said large companies in the IT industry normally avoid suing each other directly.

"It's kind of like in the Cold War, this idea of mutually assured destruction," he said. "You have the power to take me out of the market and I have the power to take you out of the market, so why should either of us exercise that power?"