Microsoft collects fees from over half of Chrome and Android manufacturers
Microsoft is collecting millions of dollars in patent licenses from Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) producing smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices running Android and Chrome.
Following a recent deal with the Taiwanese firm Compal Electronics, the tech giant now has more than half of the worldwide ODMs for Android and ChromeOS devices now paying it patent royalties.
ODMs are manufactures that produce products for other firms to sell under their brand.
Compal Electronics, for instance, is one of the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturers. It produces devices like laptops, TVs and notebooks for leading brands like Dell, Acer, HP and Toshiba, but the licenses it has taken from Microsoft cover a number of devices running the Android and Chrome platforms.
“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.
With patent battles shaping the development of the industry, Goldman Sachs said last month that it expected Microsoft to earn around $444m in licensing fees from Android manufacturers alone this year, charging between $3 - $6 per device.
Following its strategic partnership with Nokia earlier this year, Microsoft now has the ability to defend around 78,555 patents. “We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome,” added Gutierrez.
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