Tue, Oct 25, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Compal signs licensing deal for Android, Chrome

IP RIGHTS:The agreement requires Compal to pay Microsoft royalties for each tablet, cellphone or other consumer devices it makes that uses Android or Chrome

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) yesterday became the third Taiwanese notebook computer contract maker to sign a patent licensing deal with Microsoft Corp to use Android or Chrome operating systems (OS).

The deal requires Compal, the world’s second-largest laptop contract maker, to pay the software giant an undisclosed amount of royalties for each tablet, mobile phone, e-reader or other consumer devices it produces that run either of the systems.

Compal is following in the footsteps of Wistron Corp (緯創), which signed the licensing agreement with Microsoft on July 5, and Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), which inked a similar deal on Oct. 13

“Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta, the agreement with Compal means more than half of the world’s ODM [original design manufacturing] industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s intellectual property group, said in a statement.

“We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP [intellectual property] issues surrounding Android and Chrome,” Gutierrez said.

Other firms that have agreed to Microsoft’s licensing terms include Taiwan’s HTC Corp (宏達電) and Acer Inc (宏碁), South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, ViewSonic Corp and Velocity Micro Inc of the US and Japan’s Onkyo Corp.

Android and Chrome are two open platforms developed by Google Inc, but Microsoft has asserted that they infringe on its patents and demanded device makers pay royalties when using them.

Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has inked more than 700 licensing agreements.

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