While Microsoft is all about its Windows Phone platform, Google's Android OS is proving a profitable nugget for the Redmond software giant. What some people don't know is that Microsoft collects license fees from several manufacturers who use Android in their products, and in exchange Microsoft agrees not to sue them for infringing on its IP. LG is the newest company to ink an Android license agreement with Microsoft, whose patent portfolio now covers nearly three quarters of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S.
"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."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Microsoft said the agreement expands upon a pre-existing one. Microsoft has now struck more than 1,100 deals since launching its IP licensing program in 2003, the company said.
The fact that Microsoft mentioned Chrome OS in its chest-thumping patent announcement sparked speculation that LG might be working on a Chromebook. If so, LG would join just two other vendors -- Acer and Samsung -- who manufacturer and sell Chromebooks built around Google's cloud-based Chrome OS platform.