Well, well -- Microsoft
seems to be making more money these days from Android
than their own mobile OS. As it turns out, Microsoft has good reason to demand royalties from Android, and so any major company selling Android devices is ripe to be plucked for cash. This week, Microsoft and LG hammered out a patent agreement that covers Android and Chrome OS-based products. The deal is being kept under wraps outside of that, but the implications are clear. Now, 70% of US Android smartphones are covered by these agreements; so when you buy Android, there's a good chance you're benefiting Microsoft.
"We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Together with our 10 previous agreements with Android and Chrome OS device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and Acer, this agreement with LG means that more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS."
The agreement with LG expands upon a pre-existing agreement, and it is another example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft's significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.