Microsoft claims most Android smartphone manufacturers now pay patent fees


Microsoft claims most Android smartphone manufacturers now pay patent fees

Kathleen Hall

Microsoft has claimed most Android smartphone manufacturers now pay the software giant patent fees.

Microsoft announced its tenth licence settlement, with Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer Compal, which makes around $28bn per year.

Following its agreement earlier this month with Samsung, Microsoft now has licence agreements in place that account for 53% of the US smartphone market, said the company.

So far Microsoft has only targeted the manufacturers of smartphones using Google's open source operating system Android. But this could change with Google's recent acquisition of phone maker Motorola.

This is the ninth Android patent agreement settle by Microsoft in just four months. Last year HTC reportedly settled with Microsoft to pay $5 in patent fees for every Android phone it sold.

In a blog post in August, Google accused Microsoft, Oracle and Apple of driving up prices by waging a hostile campaign of "bogus patents".

Google said: "A smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims, and our competitors want to impose a 'tax' for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation."

More than 550,000 Android devices are activated every day, through a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers, according to Google.

Companies currently still in litigation with Microsoft include Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Motorola Mobility.

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