Microsoft Claims Patent Licenses on 70% of Android Phones

1/12/12Follow @curtwoodward

Microsoft’s “Android isn’t free” campaign continues to roll along, with the Redmond software behemoth today announcing a patent licensing deal with handset maker LG to cover Google’s mobile operating systems.

With this deal, Microsoft says it’s got licenses covering more than 70 percent of all U.S.-sold smartphones running Google’s Android operating system. The LG deal also covers the Chrome operating system, a web-based system for laptops.

Prices were not disclosed, as usual, but Wall Street analysts have pegged previous licensing deals at $5 per handset or perhaps more—which means that with Android’s massive market share, Microsoft is making more on Google’s mobile phones than its own, which have a sliver of the market.

It’s the 11th licensing deal covering Google OS products—previous licensees who have paid up to Microsoft include major manufacturers HTC, Samsung, and Acer. “We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS,” Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez says in a statement.

As has become typical with these deals, Microsoft executives are on Twitter boasting about the deal. VP and general counsel Brad Smith announced the deal this morning on his feed, and quickly followed up with this gem, somewhat bizarrely inspired by the Occupy protests against concentration of wealth:

Microsoft claiming it’s the 99 percent by getting a patent licensing fee? Somewhere, a protester’s head just exploded.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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  • David

    If in equating themselves to the 99% he meant making a lot of angry noise in order to mooch off of the merit and accomplishments of others, then I can see some validity in the comparison.

  • http://www.patex.ca ron simmer

    I am on the board of the Vancouver bc Licensing Executives Society.
    We are looking for a speaker on the topic of IP licensing etc. for the possible dates of March 2,6, or 9..regarding our monthly lunch meetings.
    Any ideas on presenters who would come to Vancouver for a short presentation? We would pay hotel and travel expenses.
    Ron Simmer
    604 438 5935