Los Angeles – Earlier this week, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft announced its new Android patent agreement with Compal Electronics, a Taiwanese company. The software giant claims the new patent deal gives it a licensing stronghold on the majority of Android devices.
The agreement with Compal Electronics will cover tablets, mobile phones, e-readers, and other consumer devices running off the Android or Chrome Platform operating systems. Earlier this month, Microsoft inked a similar deal with Quanta Computer and one with Winstron in July. Back in April 2010, it signed a patent agreement with HTC.
“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, Microsoft deputy general counsel.
These patent deals with the Taiwanese companies will likely have a significant impact on the mobile industry for years to come. The deals could prove to be quite lucrative for those on the right side of the conflict, with one Goldman Sachs analyst predicting that Microsoft could rake in $444 million in licensing fees from Android manufacturers alone.
Another major factor affecting the landscape of the mobile industry is the ever-increasing litigation between tech giants such as Apple, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and Google. For example, in the Samsung vs. Apple patent infringement lawsuit, Apple has been successful in getting Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet temporarily banned from sale in the Australian and German markets.
Furthermore, Google has been busy trying to bolster its patent portfolio, purchasing Motorola Mobility in August, partly for its treasured collection of over 17,000 technology patents and also to protect Android from legal battles. When Microsoft sued Motorola in 2010 and tried to have its patents for its Android phones, Wi-Fi and video capabilities invalidated, Google’s David Drummond suggested that Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, and others are waging “a hostile, organized campaign against Android.”
Earlier this year, Microsoft also sued Barnes & Noble for patent infringement over the book retailer’s Android-based Nook e-readers.