As you may have heard, Microsoft has a rather large patent portfolio, and over the past few months, they’ve been pressuring groups working with Google-based operating systems to sign licensing deals with them to avoid patent suits. The newest of these up until today was the Microsoft/Samsung deal which included Android devices and a play to have Samsung paying Microsoft per device produced. A similar situation is now occurring with Quanta Computer Inc, this time the agreement including both Android and Google’s Chrome OS.
Both parties have indicated that Microsoft will indeed be receiving royalties from Quanta under the agreement, but the amount and means for this exchange have not yet been revealed. Microsoft will likely be twiddling their thumbs over this latest victory, especially since they already long ago eclipsed their Windows Phone 7 earnings with licensing deals from Android-based phones made by manufacturers such as HTC.
Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft, seemed particularly pleased:
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace.” – Gutierrez
It’s important to note, and Microsoft reminds us today, that this patent agreement wave with Android is certainly not the beginning of the group’s IP claim program. Microsoft launched its IP licensing program all the way back in December of 2003, since then entering into over 700 licensing agreements “to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio.”
So it’s a GOOD thing, right?
Also note – it’s not that Quanta has exactly made a big name for themselves with Android or Chrome OS based devices, but they HAVE created some interesting bits. Check out this video from back in 2009 which shows off a Quanta Android Smartbook: