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Microsoft gets more Android royalties after penning ODM deals

ODMs such as Compal Electronics and Quanta Computer are paying undisclosed royalties to Microsoft for their Android and Chrome OS devices

Microsoft stands to make even more money out of every Android or Chrome-based device after the firm signed an agreement with Taiwanese original design manufacturer (ODM) Compal Electronics. Microsoft said that with this deal, it now has more than half of the worldwide ODMs for Android and ChromeOS devices now paying it patent royalties.

Compal Electronics handles the production of notebooks, monitors, and televisions for a variety of firms around the world, including Acer, Dell, Toshiba, HP and Fujitsu Siemens. It shipped over 48 million notebooks in 2010 and has now licensed publicly undisclosed Microsoft patents and is paying Microsoft undisclosed royalties to cover its Android and Chrome OS products.

The deal with the world’s second-largest contract laptop manufacturer is a real coup for Microsoft, just days after it signed a similar patent agreement with the world’s leading ODM Quanta Computer.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft, in a statement.

“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.

He added that the firm is “proud of the continued success of [its] licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome”.

Microsoft has not publicly stated which of its patents are allegedly infringed by Android and Chrome and Microsoft officials have insisted that OEMs and ODMs sign non-disclosure statements before sharing with them the details about their alleged infringements.

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