Microsoft today announced that Korean smartphone (and everything else) manufacturer LG has signed a licensing agreement for tablets, phones and other devices that run Android or Chrome. Like the previous agreements Microsoft has signed with the likes of HTC, Samsung and others, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Microsoft attorney Horacio Gutierrez, in a statement, lauded the "mutally beneficial agreement" and said that 70 percent of Android smartphones sold in the United States are now licensing Microsoft patents.
“We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. 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 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under 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 program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS.”
As for LG's side of the equation, the manufacturer (naturally) put a positive spin on the licensing deal, saying in the end, for both companies, it all comes down to producing products for consumers. LG spokesman Ken Hong told Android Central:
"We're of course pleased we could come to amicable terms with Microsoft, whom LG has had a great working relationship with for years. This agreement allows both companies to move beyond the legal issues and get on with doing what both companies do best, which is developing products and delivering services that benefit consumers."
Regarding Chrome being part of the licensing agreement, Hong told Android Central "the deal includes Chrome but we don't have a Chromebook in development at this moment." That could be some forward-looking licensing -- ie a Chromebook or some other Chrome-based device could one day be in development -- or it possibly could be for LG's new 3D Google TV.
Our question now is how long the 30 percent of unlicensed devices (hi, Motorola) is going to be able to hold Microsoft off, and what cards they're holding if they do.
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