Microsoft announces tenth Android patent deal, half of all devices now covered

By Tom Warren, on 23rd Oct 11 5:17 pm with 41 Comments

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Microsoft announced on Sunday that it has signed a patent agreement with Compal Electronics.

The deal will cover Compal under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for the company’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform. Microsoft will receive royalties from Compal under the agreement. Compal Electronics is a Taiwan-based manufacturer of notebook computers, monitors, and televisions. Compal’s customers include Dell, HP, Toshiba and others. The company is the second largest contract laptop manufacturer in the world, behind Quanta Computer who signed a similar deal with Microsoft earlier this month.

“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.”

Microsoft’s latest deal marks the tenth license agreement under the company’s Android patent portfolio for mobile phones and tablets. It also means that over half of all Android device manufacturers have now entered into a patent deal with Microsoft. “Amidst continuing clamor 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,” explained Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, in a blog post on Sunday. “Our agreements ensure respect and reasonable compensation for Microsoft’s inventions and patent portfolio.”

Microsoft has previously inked patent protection deals with WistronGeneral Dynamics Itronix,Velocity MicroOnkyoAcerViewsonic, Quanta and Samsung. Microsoft is also chasing Motorola for a similar Android patent deal. Google announced in August that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Google CEO Larry Page noted at the time of the deal announcement that Microsoft and Apple are “banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android.” Google hopes its move to purchase Motorola Mobility will better protect Android in the future. Microsoft kicked off its trial at the International Trade Commission (ITC) in late August by seeking to block imports of the Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Blackflip and Charm. Microsoft’s Motorola ITC case is ongoing and the administrative law judge, Theodore Essex, will release his initial findings in the case on November 4. The commission will complete its full investigation by March 5.

  • MSfan

    Good news, even if WP7 is tanking, we are finding some way to make $$$$ in mobile.

    • Crandrea

      WP7 isn’t tanking. It just hasn’t gained much share yet. That could change once Nokia comes on board.

    • Tim Smith

      Underachieving is the more accurate term. I think by this time next year they’ll have a much stronger presence in the mobile market space and be a serious competitor for Android/iPhone.

    • Guest

      Yes, underachieving is more accurate. By this time next year if they don’t have a stronger presence they’re done in mobile. And while I think they will improve their position from current, a more realistic goal is to establish themselves as the clear viable 3rd ecosystem, albeit far behind Android and iPhone.

    • Anonymous

      Done in Mobile? You sure don’t know Microsoft ? The future of Microsoft depends on their mobile and windows 8.

    • Guest

      @ Nick Craze

      Yes. I know MS very well. Yes it does. Hence the reason the stakes are so high.

    • Anonymous

      How can it be called underachieving when Mango has only been out for several weeks and the HTC Titan isn’t even available in the US yet?

    • Anonymous

      WP is NOT running a 100 yard dash as google or apple are trying to do with their gadgets. This is a marathon and the way the line up is approaching the first part of the race is looking mighty good.

      On a weekly basis I see more WP devices pop up in my organization. Blackberry curves are the defacto standard issue but ever since some of my peers learned that we’re allowed to have the Focus and it’s at 0 additional cost to us (both personal and org wise) the dominoe effect began.

      Eveyrone keeps talking about ecosystems, ecosystem this ecosystem that. The fact is none of the options on the market today (including WP) offer a viable ecosystem for the enterprise. And to bridge this gap between fun and productivity, the ecosystem has to, MUST provide enterprise hooks. The only platform that has a promising chance of doing that in the next few years is WP.

      Google could make a push for that if they somehow figure out a way to beat Microsoft in the enterprise and apps space; however, after this year, and after investors take notice of how much profits they’re leaking to Micorosft for example, and after the lawsuits start bearing fruits, and after the MMI acquisition starts hitting the books, it will only be a matter of time before investor confidence begin hindering their valuation.

      For WP to succeed it does not have to beat iPhone or Android. Those 2 items are not on the approved list of devices by most mid size and large enterprise organizations. Microsoft has to first replace blackberry as the device of choice in the enterprise. I think that is attainable within 2012.

      On the consumer front they need to keep fueling the cool factor by furthering or delivering on the promises of connected environments across work and fun by continuing to bridge between xbox, live, wp, in car, bing, office, etc. I think if Microsoft focuses on their own vision and strategy as they have been doing they’ll be just fine. Blips on the radar are natural. No other company out there is poised to deliver and connect across all these user interface points.

    • Undane

      why does everyone keep on hyping Nokia? In every article in The Economist, Fortune or Time I read about Nokia(or even mentions it) is about how Nokia has flopped in the smartphone wars, not about how it will save Microsoft. The only place I have seen people say it may save Microsoft is from Microsoft itself or commenters here

    • Guest

      Nobody is hyping Nokia, you illiterate twit. It’s simply recognition that they’re still the largest mobile phone provider and as such, MS’s best hope for volume.

    • Stark

      Because journalist and analysts are the smartest people in the world, know everything and can also predict the future. /s

    • Anonymous

      Because they make good handset but their operating system has been behind the times. With a modern operating system on their top notch hardware, it is hoped both mcrosoft’s and Nokia’s fortunes will turn around. For you reference, read the engadget review on the Nokia N9 to see how beautiful and well their hardware is made.

    • Skysinof

      When WP7 was first released, everyone kept saying “wait till it’s 1 year old”.
      Well, it’s had its first birthday.

      Then everyone said “wait for Mango”.
      Well, Mango has been released.

      Now people are saying “wait for the Nokia WP7s”

      I must say, I would sooner believe in Harold Camping’s prediction than this.

    • David

      what are you even saying? first off, mango was released before wp7′s one year anniversary. secondly, people have been saying to wait for Nokia’s WP7 devices since the announcement in the beginning of the year because they make the best hardware.

      its not a matter of if, its a matter of when. windows phone 7 WILL be huge and thats a fact. theres almost no way it cant succeed.

    • Xledger

      First off, Harold Camping had spent decades studying the bible. He’s also a civil-F’ing-engineer, the 2nd oldest engineering discipline ever, with strong emphasis on Mathematic and Physics. He obviously knows his calculations, and what he’s talking about. Secondly, people have been saying to wait for October 21st since that’s when the Final Judgement will be completed and the faithful will be ascended to Heaven.The Rapture/end-of-the-world will happen.It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.The Rapture/end-of-the-world WILL be a huge deal, and that’s a fact.There’s almost no way it can’t be a huge (seeing how everyone and everything in this universe will be affected). On a separate note, bet we’re regretting improving tablet technologies now, huh? Back then, they only had enough storage for 10 Commandments. There are 313 words in the 10 commandments [1]. There would be an average of 32 words per Commandment.Assuming the average 5 characters per word [2], that’s a total of 160 characters (bytes) per Commandment.The bloody iPad 2 is capable of up to 64GB [3]. That’s 68,719,476,736 bytes [4].At an average of 160 bytes per Commandment, one can assume that an iPad 2 is capable of storing 429,496,730 [5] Commandments.And who’s got Jobs now [6]?I’m sure the faithful will have a lot of rememberin’ to do when they get up there.[1]… Umm… I’m sorry, what were we talking about again?

    • MobileUser

      If I did not buy a Smart Phone yet means, nothing is tanking. I am waiting for Nokia SeaRay. Like Me there are many more. WP7 will be a hit

  • Anonymous

    feel like i have read this before!!!!

    • Tom W

      Well there’s been 9 in the past six months alone.

  • Shadow 024

    I just wonder what it is that’s being licensed.  It has to be something undisputable for half of the makers, Samsung and HTC especially, to sign deals.

    • Anonymous

      I think part of it is Activesync to connect the phone to exchange server and outlook.

  • Pedro Roque

    Hey Google, you might as well burn all of that money you offered for motorolla. The result would be the same

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think Microsoft is their main problem with the lawsuits. Microsoft is looking for royalties. Apple is trying to take android off the market. I don’t know if Motorola mobility has any patents related to Apple products.

    • Anonymous

      At present, Oracle is a much bigger threat than Apple. If Oracle is successful against Google, then they would be blocked from introducing anymore additions of Android until they’ve met Oracle’s demands. Which are mainly damages for willful infringement and bringing Android in line with the Java standard.

    • Guest

      *When* Oracle wins, there will be two impacts. The one you mention on Google, and then likely one on every Android OEM. Because Oracle is going to want to get paid by anyone and everyone using their technology. And to date, Google has not be willing to pick up a blanket license for their OEMs as well.

      So Android OEMs could find themselves paying MS, paying Oracle, and defending against Apple trying to shut them down. Suddenly “free” Android isn’t looking so free.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, Android was built on wholesale IP theft. The whole thing should be shut down.

  • Binlid1

    my guess is its around exchange/activesync….only fair. Ms develop the technology, and Google slap ot into a “free” os

    • Laurențiu Roman

      Does Android use that? I’m asking because i really have no ideea about it.

    • Anonymous

      Yes they do, but they did license activesync.

    • Org

      MS is a patent troll….

      Want proof? Why else would Microsoft try to hide the nature of the patents?

    • Anonymous

      That’s proof?

    • Guest

      Is this really what you life has come down? Trolling incessantly on MS-related forums under dozens of aliases?

      What a fkn retard.

    • Hey

      Sorry, but it seems you really do not know what pattent troll mean.

  • Anonymous

    Time to pay the pimp

  • Anonymous

    Amazing, MSFT makes 10x on Android what it makes on WP7…

    • Guest


    • Guest
  • AlienSix

    Pay yo pimp, Android. Money is money

  • Achilles

    I got psychic reading done yesterday for MS. She said “After increasing performance(may be more features with Apolo) WP7 will significantly improve the market share. Windows 8 is going to do well as well” :)

  • Potato

    Yes, half of all manufacturers … like … Viewsonic and … Onkyo.
    I see MS hasn’t gone after any large manufacturers except for Samsung, a easy target. Let’s see what happens when they go after the big dogs.

    • Guest

      Why was Samsung an easy target? At what’s small about General Dynamics? You might also recall that they sued Motorola, and word is Google bought MMI because they were about to sign too. So like usual, your comment has little to do with reality. 

  • OMG55

    What other languages can you say, “Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money in”??? (A phrase made famous by Damon Wayans…..I Luv You Man.

    Seriously, if MS is getting all of these patent deals for violation by google. Do you think Google will eventually be on the hook with the other big players who are pursing them in the law suit at some point??