by Anton Shilov
01/13/2012 | 10:06 AM
Microsoft Corp. and LG Electronics have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for LG’s tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platforms. LG will pay Microsoft for its intellectual property that is used by Google's software.
“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% 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 at intellectual property group at Microsoft.
The contents of the agreement have not been disclosed. It is clear, though, that Microsoft will clearly receive royalties from LG Electronics, just like it gets them from 70% of all Android-based smartphones sold in the U.S. Several months ago Microsoft signed a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung Electronics in a bid to settle Android- and Chrome OS-related disputes.
"It says something that [LG and Samsung] prefer to resolve any Android- and Chrome-related IP problems amicably with Microsoft, given that both of them have proven to be great fighters. [...] These are companies that definitely understand the patent business and know how to defend themselves in court if they have to or want to - but with Microsoft, they both reached an agreement at the negotiating table. Motorola Mobility appears to be the last major Android vendor to refuse to take a license from Microsoft. Others either have a direct license agreement in place or they are licensed because of arrangements between Microsoft and their ODMs (Original Device Manufacturers)," noted Florian Mueller, an intellectual property analyst, at FOSS Patents Blog.