Microsoft signs Compal deal, now takes money from half of all Android ODMs

Despite Steve Ballmer's apparent disdain for the Googly OS, he must love it really. He's now making money from ten separate Android and Chrome licensing deals, having just inked yet another agreement with Compal -- a large Taiwanese original design manufacturer (ODM) that builds tablets and smartphones for brands like Lenovo. From this point on, a "reasonable and fair" chunk of Compal's $28 billion annual income will be diverted to the coffers at Redmond. Overall, this means that Microsoft's tentacles have spread across 55 percent of the Android ODM industry and -- more importantly -- are poked firmly into two different mobile OS pies. As cut-throat as this approach might seem, however, it's surely better than freezing the market with cold and ceaseless waves of litigation. PR after the break.

[Thanks, Majed]

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Microsoft Corp. and Compal Electronics, Inc. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Compal's tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Compal under the agreement.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry. 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. "We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome."

Microsoft's Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property

The patent agreement 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 700 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