The list of companies that have signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft just got a little longer. Today Microsoft announced it's reached a patent agreement with LG that'll cover the latter firm's phones, tablets and other products running Android and Chrome OS. The details of the agreement weren't mentioned, but Microsoft did trumpet the fact that its latest deal with LG means that 70 percent of all Android phones sold in the U.S. are now covered by its patent deals.
With today's agreement, LG joins the likes of manufacturers like HTC, Samsung and Acer in the group of companies that have reached patent licensing arrangements with Microsoft. One of the most notable firms still without a deal with the Redmond firm is Motorola, though that doesn't mean that Motorola and Microsoft aren't involved in any kind of patent relationship: Microsoft is actually suing Motorola for alleged patent infringement. As for when the number of Android handsets covered by Microsoft licensing deals might grow again, well, that much is still a mystery, but I wouldn't be surprised if we heard of another agreement with some other company being reached sooner or later. The full PR from Microsoft is below.
Microsoft and LG Sign Patent Agreement Covering Android and Chrome OS Based Devices
Agreement provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio.
REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 12, 2012— 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 Platform. The contents of the agreement have not been disclosed.
“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.”
Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property
The agreement with LG expands upon a pre-existing agreement, and it is another example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.
More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing/.