Inside the Microsoft/Android patent licensing agreement

Chinese government unveils a list of patents that Microsoft has licensed to Google for its Android operating system

There is little doubt that patents are a valuable business asset, especially in ultra-competitive high tech markets such as the mobile device industry. When the technology in a smartphone -- which acts as a GPS device, telephone, gaming device, camera and more – is covered by literally thousands of patents, there is little doubt that companies in the space must put aside their competitive differences and forge smart business relationships. Thus, patent licensing agreements are the hallmark of the mobile device industry.

Take, for example, Microsoft. The computing giant’s Windows phones and tablets may not be setting the market on fire, but, thanks to lucrative licensing agreements, the company is raking in billions of dollars a year on sales of Android devices. That’s right, Microsoft is making a killing on the back of one of its fiercest competitors, Google.

Senior Editor and Community Manager

author image

Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.