Microsoft strikes key Android device maker

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Microsoft strikes key Android device maker

Takes patent battle to Google's supply chain.

Microsoft has struck a "broad" patent covering Android and Chrome OS devices made by giant Taiwanese computer and smartphone maker Quanta.

The deal could be significant for Microsoft since Quanta is one of the largest PC, tablet and phone makers in the world.

Details of the agreement were not disclosed, but they will involve Microsoft receiving royalties from Quanta for smartphones and “other consumer devices” running Google’s two platforms, according to Microsoft

The Taiwanese company supplies nearly all the big brand device makers, including Research in Motion, the world’s second largest PC maker, Lenovo, and key Android maker, Samsung.  

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.

“Quanta is yet another company that doesn't buy Google's we'll-save-the-world-with-Motorola story. Industry at large doesn't buy it,” said patent expert Florian Mueller.

The deal could take Microsoft’s patent war with Google a level deeper by targeting Android or Chrome OS makers’ supply chain. 

It follows a similar agreement Microsoft struck with the world’s largest Android handset and tablet brand Samsung

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