Microsoft and LG have signed a patent licensing deal covering LG tablets, smartphones, and other devices running Android and Chrome OS, Microsoft announced in a Thursday press release.
“We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft’s Intellectual Property Group, said in a statement.
Microsoft has previously signed deals with companies including HTC, Samsung, Suanta, Copal Electronics, and Wistron. Microsoft in October reached an agreement with Copal, which it said secured it patent deals on a majority of Android and Chrome devices on the market.
The latest deal with LG brings the total number of licensing agreements Microsoft has with OEMs of Chrome OS- and Android-based devices to 11.
“This agreement with LG means more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” Gutierrez added.
Gutierrez also expanded on his remarks via Twitter.
“How should the smartphone industry resolve IP disputes in the software stack? Let’s try licensing,” he tweeted.
The terms of the deal between LG and Microsoft were not disclosed, however, as with other deals, it presumably provides that LG pays royalties to Microsoft for patents that MS believes Android and Chrome OS gadgets might infringe upon.
“The commercial reality is that patent licensing is still the prevalent way to resolve intellectual property issues,” patent blogger Florian Mueller explained in a blog post.
Last fall, a Goldman Sachs analyst estimated that Microsoft could pull in $444 million in 2011 in licensing fees from Android manufacturers alone. Mueller pointed out that Motorola Mobility seems to be the last remaining Android OEM to make a deal with Microsoft.
In fact, Motorola and Microsoft are currently engaged in a legal battle over the use of Microsoft-owned patents in Motorola’s Android handsets. Last month a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge ruled that Motorola infringed on one Microsoft patent in making these devices, but a final decision won’t be reached until April.
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Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2398848,00.asp