Home

Share this Story

Microsoft And LG Sign Patent Deal, Microsoft Makes Money Off Of 70 Percent of Android Handsets

Microsoft is boasting their ever expanding blitzkrieg of the Android market today by announcing that they have signed a deal with LG over patents related to their Android phones and Chrome OS devices. LG now joins the ranks of Samsung, Acer and HTC as companies to fall to Microsoft’s patent bullying over the Android ecosystem. “This agreement with LG means that more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” Microsoft said in their press release.

Microsoft unabashedly makes more money off of Android than they do off their own Windows Phone 7 platform. How far will this campaign go to sign every company that has anything to do with Android? 

Microsoft and LG Sign Patent Agreement Covering Android and Chrome OS Based Devices

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 12, 2012— Microsoft Corp. and LG Electronics have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for LG’s tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS Platform. The contents of the agreement have not been disclosed.

“We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Together with our 10 previous agreements with Android and Chrome OS device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and Acer, this agreement with LG means that more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS.”

Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property

The agreement with LG expands upon a pre-existing agreement, and it is another example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.

More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available athttp://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing/.

  • Kierra

    sounds like good business to me

  • zer0ed77

    Apple and MS better slow the f*** down with this patent bs.  Money or not, they’re coming off as criminals.  In Apples case, they’re claiming patents on a great majority of ideas they have stolen, not created.  MS is once again flirting with a monopoly suite.  They’re no stranger to this.  I really wish Google was more agressive with their legal stances.  In fact, they almost don’t seem to care.  This is a sensative time for them.  They need to up their legal game.

  • Kat Selezneva

    I wish the companies would make money by developing new technologies, releasing amazing smartphones and usable OS updates. But they continue earning money from lawsuits :((( 2011 results for the mobile development world http://k-selezneva.blogspot.com/2012/01/2011-results-for-mobile-development.html

  • Booboolala2000

    So what is the appeal for a handset maker to produce a Windows Phone if they arent protected from these patent suit deals if they are making a Windows Phone?

  • http://twitter.com/haexor Corey Hitchens

    Yes. Very disappointing that something that is supposed to be free and open-sourced is still taxed and made revenue off of by a company that has no relation to do with its innovation or invention, other than it is a competitor. What a bunch of vultures. I almost have microsoft completely removed from my computing life besides occasional win7 usage, and theyre getting my $ anyway!

  • Nickgalli66

    I just cant get over the guys face in the picture

  • Anonymous

    Boy, Do I hate microsoft right now. Makes me glad I switched to Ubuntu .So does this mean that Motorola is the only one not under their spell?

    • Anonymous

      Barnes and Noble is taking it to them in the court room, and has basically called them and and gotten all but one “patent” dismissed.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tkimball00 Timothy Kimball

    WWWWRRRRROOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG the world of patents should be eliminated! There should be no more patents allowed in the US! All these big companies do is control everything and collect money. There is so much technology that can’t be released due to big corporations hording the patents and no one can build apon the new tech. Imagine it and you should be able to build it unless some jackass has the patent locked away somewhere waiting to sue you!
    Sorry I just hate the word patent since so many companies like to sue anything that walks and breathes technology

  • BionicCommando4231

    Why are they bragging about this?

    ” Hey look at all the stuff we invented yet were too stupid to bother to build. Whaaa.. The only place we lead in market share is in patent trolling.”

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you man, I’ve been dual booting for years and finally made the jump and I pretty much use Arch Linux 97% of the time. When I need something I virtualize Windows. It’s so lame that I need two keys to run the same copy of windows 7 on the same computer, just one is a native install and the other is a virtual install. They’re money grubbing whores, that’s all there is to it. Prime example: everyone but those who had Vista Ultimate got a “cheap” ugrade to Windows 7, those who had ultimate had to pay $400! Way to screw over your highest paying consumers.

  • Curtis Martin

    I’d rather MS take a cut rather than outright block sales like Apple tries to do. Competition is good for companies and consumers.

  • Butters619

    So Moto is the only major Android Manufacturer that doesn’t pay Microsoft?

    • Anonymous

      Barnes and Noble as well…and they’re putting a beatdown on Micro$hit in the courtroom.

  • Josh Groff

    Shouldn’t Motorola and Samsung sue back? They’ve been in the game longer, they should have a nice patent portfolio.

    • Jeremy Turnley

      Only if MS is infringing on them. Even if they are, MS is likely ignoring 95% of the infringements that Moto and Samsung are guilty of and just picking some of the big ones. The patent game is like the Cold War – everyone stockpiles and ignores the others’ transgressions until someone crosses a line.

      The only player in the game that should really be worried is Apple. They hold a lot of patents, but should everyone call them on the broadness of them and the infringements they are guilty of at once, their store shelves would be pretty empty. Right now, everyone is waiting to see how the current suits come out (and are betting that Apple loses – a safe bet for most of them). With Jobs out of the picture, it’s likely that after the current batch of BS gets dismissed there won’t be much more, and we will go back to Cold War mode.

      • Josh Groff

        Good analogy, never thought of it like that. Apple would be that small country that has 1 or 2 nukes but no one likes then?

        • Jeremy Turnley

          Apple is more like China. They are the superpower that holds ALL the cards, but they depend on everyone else.

          They can’t sure MS because MS holds 90% of the desktop computer market and nearly 100% of the business desktop market, which is the largest segment of computing money in the world. They also control the vast majority of business email and calendaring, which makes them one of the main reasons business people would use an iPhone. Apple makes more money than MS right now, but all their money is based on short lifecycle consumer products, vs MS’ being tied up in the “long game” of supplying businesses with their lifeblood. One bad year, one undesirable product and Apple loses traction. MS can ship the reviled Vista, and still make record profits on Win7 two years later with hardly a hiccup because their busness is based off “need” vs Apple’s “want”.

          Samsung, Moto, LG – they make a lot of the components in their devices, which is one of the reason Apple is working on gobbling up companies that can replace them. Right now, the suits that they have against them don’t outweigh the money that Apple pays them and their subsidiaries, so it’s a bit of a standoff. Should that balance shift, things could get messy.

  • Anonymous

    It’s alright when companies legitimately develop new ideas and then patent them, then charge royalties for their use. It’s not alright when companies steal ideas from other companies that weren’t patented, patent them themselves, and then charge that company to use their own freaking ideas! 

    Microsoft and Apple have done it multiple times in the past (don’t believe me? watch “Pirates of Silicon Valley”) and they’ll continue to do so until someone stands up against them. Don’t you think it’s a little odd that Apple took the “notification shade” from Android and put it in iOS 5 and then has the balls to sue Samsung for making their phone look too much like an iPhone, when they blatantly copied something from their competitors? That’s pretty shi**y if you ask me. It’s one thing to make money off of your customers in legitimate ways, it’s another thing to charge money for other peoples ideas or things that should come standard. (Another reason why I have it out for MS is because they don’t “take care” of the people who line their pockets. I took an IT certification exam and I had to pay $5 to get my crappy cardboard certificate. CompTIA gave me my A+ certificate and a wallet card for free!)

    • Josh Groff

      There’s $soft and CrApple, been a linux fan for years… I’ll never pay for an OS or office suite again. Good game.

  • GCurry

    Patents and IP are in serious need of overhaul.    This is ridiculous.

  • http://Twitter.com/ContestsAccount bigrob60

    Google’s motto: We don’t own all of the patents you use. We just make all of the patents you use better. :]

    • KevinC

      Google doesn’t need the patents since Android is all open source and they don’t make money off of the operating system.  They make their money from licensing their own propitiatory Android Market and Google Apps which are all closed source.

      • Jeremy Turnley

        Ummm, no – Google makes their money collecting data and selling it to people. Android is just another platform they can gather data on. Data about where you go, how you get there, how you spend your money and more is gathered from your device while you use Android and its attached Google services. How do you think that they replaced the Navigon maps from their early Google Maps builds with their own in such a short time? Street view cars and Android phones with GPS, baby…

  • Philip

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  • KevinC

    Microsoft has one of the largest R&D departments in the industry.  They spend billions each year in developing new ideas, they deserve to be paid licensing fees from those that are profiting off of their work.

    • KevinC

      You can’t just steal ideas from others and sell them, it’s immoral…and LG, HTC, etc deserve to pay for it.

      • Jeremy Turnley

        Correct. Which is why for the most part they aren’t even fighting it. MS’ early WinMo devices defined much of what we do today with our smartphones, but they never made any money selling the actual devices due to the early state of the industry. It’s time to pay them for the innovation that got us here – that’s what patents are all about.

        • Anonymous

          Because to fight means million and millions in legal fees. Are you people too stupid to realize this, or are you just trolling in the name of Microsoft?

          • Anonymous

            Are you too stupid to realize that these companies have more than enough money to fight a legal battle with Microsoft. But chose not to because they know they’re infringing on MS patents.

            Why are big companies like Samsung, HTC, and LG giving up a share of their profit for no reason  if they know they have no chance in fighting it.

          • Anonymous

            I can’t believe you’re that naive…

      • Anonymous

        Holy Micro$hit, you’re dumb.

    • http://twitter.com/magiman7 magiman7

      Seems like you are making pronouncements without knowing the facts. Until MS says what patents Android is infringing upon, I call BS.  They pulled the same crap with linux / gnu.  They claim you infringe on our stuff but refuse to say what.  They know if it is just some small technicality, the code can be easily rewritten and they lose their power.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. They’re only intention is to drive up the cost of Linux-based products until they’re comparable to crappy Windows.

  • Anonymous

    We should have a caption contest for the pic above. Who’s first?!

    • Anonymous

      RAWR, Bearclaw..!

    • elmalo

      “I tell you Bill, her butt was this big, and she would always go ‘moo'”

    • PC_Tool

      “…and then he JUMPED up and said iPad!”

    • Dliuzzo110

      “Whoa whoa it was just a tickle fight”

    • http://twitter.com/TheUsTBoat David

      “…And then I went fbdbddbdbbddbdbdbd….and it was the greatest motorboat of my life!”

  • Anonymous

    what a crock…one of the great things about android is its not microsoft.  wonder how this will affect what phones people buy in the future?

    • Jeremy Turnley

      They’ll be $5-15 more expensive as you pay MS for the core innovation that made that phone possible. What else do you think it will mean?

      • Boblevel

        Microsoft and innovation are mutually exclusive terms..

      • Anonymous

        I’m curious what exactly Microsoft contributed to Android, besides headaches? Can you name something? Or even Linux in general! 

        What did Linus Torvolds do that makes Microsoft get an itch in their rear? He made a free OS!

  • Anonymous

    Share
    a website with you ,
    ( http://luckygrip.com )
    Believe you will love it.
    credit card and f ree s hipping.
    I bought two pairs. Cheap, good quality, you can
    go and ship with there

  • Anonymous

    At least Microsoft allows companies to license.  Apple doesn’t even offer that to offendors of their patents.

  • Anonymous

    I just don’t understand how Microsoft or Apple can have all of these patents that cover such a wide range of manufacturers.  Did these companies really steal designs or are the patents so broad that they include pretty much everyone’s designs. It seems like it’s not what you manufacture, it’s how good your legal team is.

    • Granted

      Well this comment is one hundred percent astute it’s accurate. Its not cynical to view the corporate world this way sadly. But I’ll take my capitalism any day of the week over other crappy relatavist systems. To reiterate, sadly accurate….

    • KevinC

      Microsoft has all of these patents because they’ve spent billions of dollars over the years researching and developing new ideas in their Microsoft Research department.  A large amount of what they invent doesn’t make it to market.

      • Anonymous

        I’m sure it’s very possible that Microsoft does, that’s why I asked if they truly have all of these software patents that other companies are infringing upon.  I just find it odd that nearly every company making phones is infringing upon a Microsoft patent, seems unlikely to occur.

        It just seems like they have so many patents that it’s created this umbrella affect, where no matter what anyone else invents, it’s still under this umbrella of patents.

        Same goes for Apple of course, it’s just worrisome because I imagine some companies are going to either go under or it will kill a lot of innovation because everyone knows that no matter how “new” their idea is, it’s probably covered under these umbrella patents.  

        • Anonymous

          “umbrella effect”  *

        • Anonymous

          Why else would they sign a deal with MS then?

          • Anonymous

            I imagine sometimes it’s easier/cheaper to give up some money, than to lose a lot of it without being able to continue selling your products. 

          • Anonymous

            Yes but if they are not infringing on MS’s patent they should have nothing to worry about. The fact that they are paying tells us that they recognize that they are.

          • Anonymous

            Apparently you don’t understand what a company as powerful as microsoft can do to you in the legal system.  If they want they can cost you hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees that could destroy your company.  Like I said, it’s quite possible they aren’t infringing, but they know that Microsoft will tie them up long enough for it to truly hurt their company. 

          • Anonymous

            The only power MS has is in the actual strength of their patent umbrella… they either have a case or they don’t.. it’s pretty simple. It’s also obvious that’s why these companies are paying.. because they are actually using MS patented tech.

          • http://twitter.com/magiman7 magiman7

            If MS takes LG to court, they could get a temporary stay banning all LG phones from being sold in US.  They can do that w/o having to prove anything.  Look at Apple / Samsung.  Even if the ban would only last a couple months while the case was at trial, it could cost LG their entire business.  After a few months, LG wins the trial.  Great, but they lost the majority of their market share and millions in revenue. 

          • q`Tzal

            That too.
            Being right or winning the court battle doesn’t win the market battle space.
            In this case MicroSoft is like a munchkin powergamer playing against others who are playing for enjoyment or other reasons.
            The only way to beat the powergamer is to be bigger or be the admin.

          • Booboolala2000

            If LG won the case they could be reembursed for damages. 700000 activations a day even a small percfentage is a huge calcuable loss.

          • q`Tzal

            The US patent litigation system currently rewards obfuscation and monetary worth over innovation and potential.
            Cases are heard by judges and lawyers that, if they aren’t corrupt, have no concept of the science involved in a patent.
            Because of this it is a 50%/50% gamble that you might win a patent infringement case even if you are in the wrong.
            That has turned patent lawsuits away from protection for inventors and into a medium risk investment for companies with large legal departments.
            Too many inventors have fallen prey to legal stratagems that:
            () lead with threats to induce settlements by inventors
            () intimidation and black listing amongst an inventors needed industry contacts
            () and finally in a battle of financial attrition in court as the large company can bankroll appeal after appeal as a small company eventually dies in Chapter 11.

            All this happens EVERY DAY whether you believe it or not. When given the choice of paying MS a little protection money or going bankrupt trying to stop them it’s little wonder companies pay out rather than gambling in court.

          • Anonymous

            Well, these companies paying royalties are not any where near ‘little’. They can afford a legal battle if they want to but they knew they were infringing on MS patents.

          • Anonymous

            Even if they aren’t infringing, lawyers and trials cost money. Sadly, sometimes it’s cheaper to just settle things this way than to fight it, even if you’re right.

          • Anonymous

            The fact that you believe that line of horseshit coming directly out of Microsoft’s PR mouth is proof that you are thinking what they want you to think.

            Either that, or you’re a paid microsoft troll.

            It’s patently obvious to anyone observing that Microsoft’s only intentions are to ride the coattails of Android so they don’t get left in the dust in 5 years.

          • Anonymous

            Actually it looks like MS is riding the coat tails of the tech they developed and android is renting. You may not like that but that’s how patent law works. Sorry pal, reality disagrees with you.
            On Jan 12, 2012 7:43 PM, “Disqus”

          • Anonymous

            Yep, you’re a shill for microsoft.

          • Anonymous

            Nope, the only thing Ms I own is the os on my laptop and Ms office. I, like all the companies who pay MS to use their patents, believe they have a right enforce them or charge for their use.

      • PC_Tool


        A large amount of what they invent doesn’t make it to market.”

        …and this is where patents fall apart.

        Company A patents a tech…but never finds a good way to package or market it.
        Company B creates a product that is both useful and marketable.

        Company A sues Company B for succeeding where Company A failed miserably.

        Patents are great and all….when they actually are used to make good products. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Erickson/563313398 Travis Erickson

    at least they are allowing them to pay to use it unlike cRapple 

    • Anonymous

      Give me a break. This whole “microsoft is being generous” is a load of horse$hit.

  • Anonymous

    If MSFT’s well of cash runs out and all they have left is this Android patent revenue I’d be happy with that. MSFT will try to be relevant again in 2012 and honestly, I like windows 8 (and would love to try one on a tablet) – but deep down inside it’s very difficult to like them.

    • Staticx57

      Much easier than liking apple.

  • 4geez

    i don’t really care if MS makes money off of Android.  I’d rather be able to use their patents than not be able to..

  • Anonymous

    So who’s still out? Just Moto?

    • Jasonivers

      Motorola and Barnes & Noble are the only ones I know of that are fighting back.

      • Jasonivers

        And, to the best of my knowledge, there is only one minor claim left in the Motorola case, one that is easily worked around.

  • Anonymous

    It sucks but if Microsoft has the patent then what can you do. The patent system needs major reforming, but what can you do.

  • Michael Forte

    “Don’t innovate, litigate.” That should be Microsoft and Apple’s motto.

    • Guest

      Wow, never heard this before.  Did you come up with that yourself?  …

      The Fandroid logic:  We will use your patents, without compensating you.  This is how it should work.

      • PC_Tool

        Patents are great…when they are put to good use.  Patents suck when the company holding them isn’t doing squat of use to anyone with them and instead just using it as a way to make money off of competition (that has actually found a useful and marketable product for the patent).

      • Boblevel

        What specific patent or patents does Android infringe?  

        • Anonymous

          He can’t tell you. But he’ll tote the line for Microsot until the cows come home.

    • Anonymous

      “Don’t innovate, imitate.” That should be Google’s motto.

      • Anonymous

        I agree, they TOTALLY ripped off Apple with their notification shade, widgets, wireless activations and setup, OTA updates, multitasking, folders, homescreen backgrounds, etc…

        Oh… wait.

        • Anonymous

          Lol….

        • Anonymous

          While we’re at it, I guess the iPhone stole multitouch, visual voicemail, pinch and zoom, proximity sensor, pop up keyboard, accelerometer, gyroscope, App Store, App Store business model, folders concept, magnifying glass pop up, and screenshots from Android……what??? You mean Apple had those features FIRST???? You mean Android COPIED EVERY ONE OF THOSE FEATURES??? You don’t say??????

          • Anonymous

            Wow, you’re right. Its almost as if everyone in the industry copies each other. Almost as if it doesn’t matter who does things first. Weird.

          • Guest

            I remember my Samsung Palm phone (2001) had some of those features. Proximity Sensor, folders and pop up keyboard. Does tech history start with iPhone for fanboys?

          • Jakemize

            You are a fanboy. Learn how to research before you embarrass yourself further.
            — multitouch – Acquired thru purchase of the company that actually DID invent it
            — visual voice mail – Existed LONG before the iPhone in numerous forms on the blackberry. I personally used YouMail way back when on my old curve.
            — pinch and zoom – again did not invent but bought with multitouch
            — proximity sensor – again blackberry had it first.
            — pop up keyboard – Palm had it long before iphone.
            — App Store, App Store business model,  – Again, Blackberry APP world!! I don’t understand why Rim doesn’t go after apple on that one. They sure could use the cash.
            — folders concept – Seriously?! I’m just mystified at this.
            — magnifying glass pop up – Windows accessibility features going all the way back to 95,
            — screen shots – print screen? Ring a bell? Has been on every keyboard for about the past 20 years or so? No?

          • Highwire

            pwned…..nicely done

        • Anonymous

          Your argument would be valid if half those stuff were really innovated by Android. lmao.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Pengwnmastr Mitchell Johnson

      I found this on some forum a while back. Thought it was perfect.

  • Naga Appani

    who said it is Microsoft, It is Micro”hard”….. Go to hell…

    • Granted

      What!? Haha! I like random idiotic and obscure comments like this. It’s much better than scanning through little girls comments aimed at validating that they do in fact have the largest concave penis. ” Oooh baby, I’m going to encrypt my little pentile inside your massive buttloader! Oh I’m gonna Rom all over your dirty OS, who’s your dorktard baby!?”.

      • Naga Appani

        Better you do the other “Granted”, worth it..

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ab-Gar/538974072 Ab Gar

      its not micro”hard” thumbass. its Big&Hard. 

  • Anonymous

    Patent: A business tool designed to stifle creativity and rarely protect actual “inventors.”

    *edit: I realize patents weren’t designed for that purpose, but that’s become a substantive part of their current usefulness.