Microsoft's patent-licensing ways continue, going after manufacturers of Android devices with wild abandon and, more often than not, wrangling them into (surely expensive) agreements. Latest to take the bait is LG and, interestingly, this one covers both Android and Google's little laptop operating system: Chrome OS. With this agreement Microsoft now covers 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the US, which is a quite startling figure. And, of course, one could interpolate from this that LG must have designs on making a Chromebook at some point in the not too distant future.

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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 at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing/?typ=64.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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Microsoft signs patent agreement with LG, now covers 70 percent of US Android smartphone market