Microsoft announced today that it has signed LG Electronics to its growing list of Android patent licensees, bringing the total number of licensees to 11. More important, this addition means that over 70 percent of all Android devices sold today now come with a Microsoft licensing fee, a further indication of the software giant's successes in getting these companies to pay up for using Android, a product Microsoft says infringes on its patents.
Some estimate that Microsoft now earns between $5 and $10 per Android device sold.
"We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement," Microsoft announced. "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 US are now receiving coverage under Microsoft'/s patent portfolio.
"We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS," Microsoft corporate vice president Horacio Gutierrez said.
Microsoft and LG had a previous patent licensing agreement in place and the companies note that this week's announcement amounts to an expansion of that. And here's a figure for you to ponder: Since launching its IP licensing program in December 2003, Microsoft has entered into over 1,100 licensing agreements. 1,100!