LG signs Android, Chrome OS patent deal with Microsoft

Summary:LG Electronics is the latest Android vendor to license Microsoft patents in order to head off potential legal issues.

It's been a couple of months since Microsoft has touted any new Android/Chrome OS vendors agreeing to license its patents. But that drought ended on January 12 with an announcement from the Softies regarding LG Electronics. Microsoft and LG have signed a patent agreement covering LG's tablets, mobile phones and other devices running Android or Chrome OS, according to a Microsoft press release. Terms of the deal between the two are not being disclosed.

Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft's Intellectual Property Group, took to Twitter today to make his usual argument that licensing patents is the way to head off IP clashes.

As of today, Microsoft now has 11 patent-licensing deals with Android and Chrome OS makers , almost all (if not all) of which involve those vendors agreeing to pay Microsoft licensing fees for undisclosed Microsoft patents upon which Microsoft officials have said that Android and Chrome OS potentially infringe. Other Android/Chrome OS licensees of Microsoft's patents include OEMs and ODMs Compal, HTC, Samsung, Quanta, Wistron,

Microsoft officials said as of today "more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio."

Barnes & Noble (with its Android-based Nook) and Motorola Mobility (with its Android-based smartphones) are currently fighting against licensing Microsoft's patents for their Android-based products.

Topics: Legal, Apps, Google, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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