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Microsoft collects half Android and Chrome licences

by on24 October 2011

Who needs to make anything

Software giant Microsoft appears to be one of the biggest beneficiaries from the success of Android. Redmond has been moving quietly behind the scenes to make licensing deals with outfits flogging Android and Chrome and offering them patent protection.

The latest agreement has been signed with Taiwan's Compal Electronics that provides coverage under its patent portfolio for Compal's tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices. This means that more than than half of the global contract manufacturer industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft's patent portfolio. Microsoft is claiming a similar success for its licensing program with companies producing devices under their own brand, which it calls original equipment manufacturers.

Last month Redmond signed a cross-license patent agreement with Samsung Electronics that gives Microsoft royalties for Samsung's mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform. It means that Microsoft is in the happy position of even if it loses the mobile war to Android, it will still make money. Companies which have resisted Microsoft's charms include Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec who have been sued for patent infringements by Nook devices which run Android.
Redmond is also at war with Motorola Mobility.

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