Compal is the latest Android user to sign a patent licensing deal with Microsoft and the news, Microsoft says, means that more than half of the world’s ODMs (Original Design Manufacturing) producing Android and Chrome hardware are paying them for the privilege of doing so. Microsoft also takes the opportunity to criticize rivals that aren’t as forthcoming in protecting manufacturers who use their software and Microsoft has offered a licensing program to makers of Android devices to avoid being sued by the company for allegedly infringing its patents, which was embraced last year by HTC for its mobile phones running Android. Microsoft continues to insist that its licensing program is working as expected and that its approach to patent issues is the best way forward for all parties……………..
Microsoft Corp. and Compal Electronics Inc. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft‘s patent portfolio for Compal’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Compal under the agreement. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry. Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta Computer, today’s agreement with Compal means more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome.” The patent agreement is another example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 700 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.