Microsoft has agreed a patent licensing agreement with LG that will see the US company make money from every Android device the Korean electronics-maker shifts.
LG will pay Microsoft a ‘tax’ for each and every Android device it sells in the US, becoming the latest major Android manufacturer to do so after HTC, Acer and Samsung signed similar deals in the past.
The exact terms of the arrangement, particularly the fee and whether it applies worldwide, are unclear at this point. But even still, it means that Microsoft now has a stake in nearly three-quarters of all Android devices sold stateside.
The software giant announced in a statement: “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 per cent of all Android smartphones sold in the US are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio.”
Microsoft’s strategy to leverage its patents portfolio by offering licensing deals rather than becoming embroiled in expensive, and doubtless damaging, lawsuits is in stark contrast to that of Apple’s, which has waged a ceaseless legal war to have its rivals products banned over patent violations.
However, Microsoft has other motives for playing fair, as it relies on those very Android manufacturers to produce devices for its own Windows Phone operating system. It’s a very strange world indeed.