Microsoft, LG Strike Patent Agreement

Microsoft has signed a patent agreement with LG Electronics the companies said gives broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for LG's mobile phones and other devices that run on Google Android or Chrome OS.

The patent deal is the latest such agreement between Microsoft and device manufacturers whose products run on Android. Microsoft has struck similar deals with Acer, HTC, Samsung and Viewsonic.

Microsoft has taken the position that the Android mobile OS infringes on a number of its patents. The company is pursuing a lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, whose Nook e-reader runs on Android, and Nook manufacturer Foxconn International Holdings, claiming the Nook violates Microsoft patents. Microsoft is likewise suing Motorola Mobility, which is in the process of being acquired by Google, charging that Motorola's Android-based tablets and smartphones also violate Microsoft patents.

"The agreement with LG expands upon a pre-existing agreement, and it is another example of the important role [intellectual property] plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, in a statement. The statement did not say more about the earlier deal

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"Since Microsoft launched its [intellectual property] licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio," Gutierrez said.