Microsoft Nabs Another Android Patent Licensee With LG Deal

LG's Android Phone

More than two-thirds of the Android phones sold on the U.S. market are now contributing to Microsoft’s bottom line. The company signed yet another mobile patent licensing deal Thursday, this time with LG.

“We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS,” said Microsoft’s Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for its intellectual property group, in a press release. Of course, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is the one forcing those issues by threatening to sue anyone using Android who doesn’t sign a license to its patent portfolio, but most Android partners have taken a look at their cards and folded: only Motorola (NYSE: MMI) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) have chosen to fight.

LG (SEO: 066570) is hardly an Android powerhouse in the U.S., trailing HTC, Samsung, and Motorola, but it is featured prominently on the shelves of several wireless carriers. Unless sales of Nokia’s new Windows Phones really take off in 2012, Microsoft is poised to enjoy another year in which it makes more money from mobile patent licensing than it does mobile products: 70 percent of Android phones sold in the U.S. are now covered by patent-licensing deals, Microsoft said.

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