LG Electronics has just signed a patent licensing deal with Microsoft. Microsoft has made patent licensing deals with companies that manufacture devices using Android tablets and smartphones. According to a press release from Microsoft, LG signed a patent agreement that covers LG’s use of Android and the Chrome operating system on tablets, mobile phones, and other devices.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Intellectual Property Horacio Gutierrez believes that licensing patents is the best way to resolve intellectual property clashes. Currently Microsoft has 11 patent-licensing deals with Android and Chrome OS manufacturing companies. These 11 companies somehow compensate Microsoft for selling devices that run on Android or Chrome. Microsoft patent licensees include HTC, Samsung, Quanta, and Wistron.
Currently about 70% of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio. Microsoft is awarded with thousands of patents every year and was the 6th largest company in terms of number of patents awarded last year.
I’m sure Google is not happy about Microsoft profiting from their operating system. After Google’s acquisition of Motorola is complete, they will have access to over 17,000 new patents, which would definitely intensify the intellectual property war.