The ongoing mobile patent war doesn't seem to have an amicable end in sight. However, Microsoft believes they have reached a patent milestone with the announcement of its tenth license agreement which provides coverage under its portfolio for Android mobile phones and tablets. This deal now means that manufacturers accounting for over half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft.
Microsoft's latest agreement is with Taiwan-based Compal, one of the world's largest Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) with an annual revenue of roughly $28 billion. Compal produces Android smartphones and tablet computers for various third parties.
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“Amidst continuing clamour about uncertainty and litigation relating to smartphone patents, we're putting in place a series of agreements that are reasonable and fair to both sides,” said Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel respectively. “Our agreements ensure respect and reasonable compensation for Microsoft's inventions and patent portfolio. Equally important, they enable licensees to make use of our patented innovations on a long-term and stable basis.”
Some reports even suggest that Microsoft makes more money off Android than it does from its own Windows Phone 7 platform. Its agreement with HTC supposedly brings in $5 per Android device, whereas a deal with Samsung reportedly makes Microsoft a whopping $15 per gadget.