Microsoft, Compal sign patent deal covering Android, Chrome

Microsoft said that makers of over half of all Android devices are now its licensees

Microsoft has signed a patent agreement with Taiwan's Compal Electronics that provides coverage under its patent portfolio for Compal's tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running Android or the Chrome platform, the company said Sunday.

As a result of the agreement, companies accounting for over half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft, its general counsels, Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez said in a blog post.

More than half of the global contract manufacturer industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft's patent portfolio, following the agreement with Compal and earlier ones with two other contract manufacturers, Wistron and Quanta Computer, Microsoft said.

The company claims similar success for its licensing program with companies producing devices under their own brand, which it calls original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Microsoft announced last month a cross-license patent agreement with Samsung Electronics that gives Microsoft royalties for Samsung's mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform.

Following the agreement with Samsung, Microsoft now has license agreements in place with OEMs that account for 53 percent of all Android smartphones in the U.S., the general counsels said.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Microsoft said the licensing deal with Compal, its tenth around Android so far, would bring it royalties, but did not provide details.

Microsoft has offered a licensing program to makers of Android devices to avoid being sued by the company for allegedly infringing its patents, which was embraced last year by HTC for its mobile phones running Android.

The company's "license-first" approach hasn't always worked, and in March it filed legal action against Barnes & Noble, and its device makers Foxconn International Holdings and Inventec for alleged patent infringements by Nook devices which run Android.

Microsoft also has ongoing litigation with Motorola Mobility. Google said in August that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola for about US$12.5 billion

"Our firm view remains, however, that licensing is the best way forward for the industry, and we will continue to prefer the licensing path to litigation," Gutierrez said in March.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags telecommunicationCompal ElectronicsChrome OSapplicationsMicrosoftintellectual propertylegalMobile OSesAndroidmobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?