Microsoft has announced their tenth license agreement that provides patent coverage for Android mobile phones and tablets. The deal marks the ninth agreement for Microsoft in the past four months but more importantly, the announcement means that Microsoft is collecting licensing fees on more than 50 percent of all Android devices sold.
The latest agreement is with Compal, a Taiwan-based company that is one of the world’s largest Original Design Manufacturers. Compal makes smartphone and tablets for third parties, bringing in around $28 billion per year in revenue.
As Ars Technica points out, this means that one out of every two Android smartphones or tablets sold is licensing some sort of patent from Microsoft. Parties falling under this clause could include the vendor whose name is on the device or a manufacturer of a single hardware component inside the product.
Although there are no specific financial figures mentioned in the blog post, some believe that Microsoft is actually making more money from Android sales than they are from their own Windows Phone products. A report from earlier this year claims that mobile phone maker HTC pays Microsoft $5 for every handset they sell that runs Android.
Of course, Google isn’t too terribly happy about Microsoft’s patent claims. In regards to a patent agreement last month between Microsoft and Samsung, Google issued the following statement:
"This is the same tactic we've seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others' achievements and hinder the pace of innovation."
According to the Seattle Times, Microsoft’s PR chief Frank Shaw replied to the statement via Twitter: "Let me boil down the Google statement ... from 48 words to 1: Waaaah."
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