Microsoft and LG reach Android licensing deal
Korean tech manufacturer LG is the latest company to reach an Android licensing deal with Microsoft. The agreement is similar to those signed with HTC, Samsung and others, but unlike them, also includes Google's Chrome OS. Microsoft has benefited greatly from licensing deals. One estimate had them making three times more off HTC's Android sales alone than their own Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft attorney, Horacio Gutierrez, praised the "mutually beneficial agreement," noting that MS now licenses Android to 70% of all Android phones sold in the U.S.:
“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.”
LG's Ken Hong sounded equally upbeat, saying that the deal allowed both companies to get back to what they do best, putting out products for consumers:
"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."
The Chrome part of the deal has yet to come into play, though speculation is that it will involve LG's upcoming 3D Google TV. As for the remaining 30% of the U.S. Android market, it looks like Microsoft's sights could next be set on Motorola Mobility, who was acquired by Google last year. How fascinating would it be if Google has to pay Microsoft for using one of its own products?