‘Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.’ This is probably what Microsoft is doing nowadays. Instead of making enemies in the smartphone market, this Redmond, Wash-based software giant has recently signed a patent agreement with LG for the use of both Google’s highly popular OS platforms, Chrome and Android.
‘We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of the Intellectual Property Group, Horacio Gutierrez, said.
The specific details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed by Microsoft. However, based on other IP agreements Microsoft has made with other Android manufacturers, this normally included the company receiving royalties for using Android in their products. Other companies that have already signed with a similar deal include Samsung, HTC, Acer, ViewSonic, Velocity Micro, and many more. In fact, after Compal Electronics signed the same deal last October 2011, Microsoft claimed that ‘more than half of the world’s ODM (original design manufacturing industry) for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio.’
Now that LG has joined the roster, Microsoft now covers 70% of Android units sold in the entire US. ‘We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS.’
This is, indeed, a surprising turn of events—especially since Google accused Microsoft (and Apple and Oracle) of starting ‘a hostile, organized campaign against Android.’ These allegations took place in Twitter. So it was understandable why several Microsoft executives used this social networking site as an arena to ignite the spark with Google. Right after the announcement of the deal with LG, Microsoft’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, Frank Shaw tweeted these:
Another tweet from Microsoft’s camp, this time, coming from their General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Brad Smith:
‘It’s time to recognize that in #patent world, lawsuits are the 1%; license agreements are the 99%.#anotherandroidlicense’