July 7, 2011

Microsoft, Wistron Strike Android Patent Licensing Deal

A patent licensing deal between Microsoft and Wistron, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer of Android devices, has been made, according to a press release from Microsoft.

The software giant has a wide range of patents used in Google Inc.'s Android operating system.

The deal "provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Wistron's tablets, mobile phone, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome platform."

No details of from the agreement have been disclosed other than the fact that Wistron will be paying Microsoft royalties under the arrangement.

"We are pleased that Wistron is taking advantage of our industry-wide licensing program, established to help companies address Android's IP issues," says Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.

In addition, Reuter says that local media reported that Microsoft also wants Samsung to pay $15 for each smartphone handset it makes based on Google Inc.'s Android platform, although the manufacturer would likely seek a lower payment of about $10 in exchange for a closer alliance with Microsoft for its Windows platform.

Reuter reports that analysts have predicted that Samsung, the number 2 handset maker, has sold about 19 million smartphones in the April-June quarter, with most of the devices running on Android. Samsung, which has sold more than 3 million units of the Galaxy S II since its debut, will most likely emerge as the number 1 smartphone maker, taking over Nokia's reign of more than 10 years.

Last April, Microsoft reached a licensing agreement with Taiwan's HTC Corp and will receive royalty payments on any handsets running Android.

As the Android gains in popularity, Microsoft teams up with Nokia to challenge Google and Apple Inc. in the smartphone market with its Windows mobile software.


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