And another one falls. Today, Microsoft announced that Quanta Computer and it have come to an agreement over the latter company’s use of Android. The gist of this sort of deal is that companies who ship Android-powered devices pay Microsoft a fee for use of its intellectual property (IP). Microsoft argues that Android steps on is IP toes, and thus companies that use it must either pay, or face litigation.
As usual, the terms were not explicitly spelled out, but the two companies “indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Quanta under the agreement.” This is the same language, albeit with a different payer swapped in, that Microsoft has been using for some time. The official notes are as follows:
Microsoft Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Quanta’s tablets, smartphones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Quanta under the agreement.
Microsoft went on to say that it is “pleased” with the agreement, and said that it is “proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace.” In other words, suck it, Google.
The dollar figures involved here are non-trivial. Rumors have floated that OEMs are paying between 5 and 15 dollars per unit shipped to Microsoft, effectively making Redmond a massively profitable player in the Android market. And all it has to do is collect the checks. With giants such as HTC and Samsung on board, the pattern appears to be set.
There is some pushback, however. Barnes and Noble is contesting Microsoft’s claims, calling out the company for attempting to, in its words, ‘kill’ Android. For now, however, Microsoft appears to be on a roll.