Microsoft and LG Ink Android/Chrome Patent License

By Joseph Mandour on January 16, 2012

Patent Application Attorney Orange County – Microsoft and LG have recently signed a patent licensing deal that will cover smartphones, LG tablet computers, and other devices running the Android and Chrome operating systems, Microsoft announced at a press conference Thursday.

In the past, Microsoft has signed patent deals with technology companies, including HTC, Samsung, Suanta, Copal Electronics, and Wistron. The licensing agreement with Copal, which was reached in October, reportedly covers patents on the majority of Android and Chrome devices on the market.

“We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” stated Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft’s Intellectual Property division. Gutierrez went on to say, “This agreement with LG means more than seventy percent of all Android smartphones sold in the United States are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio.”

This most recent patent deal with LG brings the total number of licensing agreements that Microsoft has with manufacturers of Chrome-OS and Android-based devices to eleven. The specific terms of the deal between Microsoft and LG were not available, but the most likely scenario will be that LG will pay royalties to Microsoft for the use of its patented technology that Microsoft believes Android and Chrome OS devices could infringe on.

Gutierrez also expanded on his remarks via Twitter, saying that royalty-based licensing deals are the best way for the smartphone industry to avoid expensive patent litigation disputes.

Last fall, an analyst from Goldman Sachs estimated that Microsoft had the potential to receive $444 million in 2011 licensing revenue from Android manufacturers alone. The analyst also added that Motorola Mobility was appearing to be the last remaining Android OEM to sign a deal with Microsoft, clearly unaware of the upcoming deal with LG.

However, the deal with Microsoft and Motorola Mobility never happened. The two technology giants are now embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit over the use of Microsoft-owned patents in Motorola’s Android handsets. Last month, the United States International Trade Commission ruled that Motorola had infringed on a Microsoft patent in the manufacture of its handsets. A final decision in that dispute is expected to be reached in April.

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Posted in: Patent Registration