updated 02:10 pm EDT, Wed April 25, 2012
Pegatron agrees to Microsoft patent licensing
Pegatron on Wednesday became the latest company to reach a patent deal in Microsoft's Android licensing campaign. In a boilerplate statement, Microsoft said Pegatron would pay a royalty on every Android or Chrome OS device it manufactured. The two kept up Microsoft's typical request that the terms of the deal not be made public.
A full four of the five major Taiwan-based contract manufacturers were now in line with the patent deals, Microsoft's deputy general counsel Horatio Gutierrez said. Companies like Quanta had signed deals last year.
The campaign is still controversial. Microsoft has insisted that the deals are needed to "resolve IP issues" with Android and has been successful in finding Motorola in violation in a trade dispute. The majority of Android partners have chosen to sign up, with the few exceptions being companies such as the soon-to-be-acquired Motorola and Barnes & Noble.
Critics, including Barnes & Noble, have interpreted it as Microsoft abusing power obtained in one market to try and force market share gains in another. The Windows developer is alleged to refuse showing the exact patent infringement claims it makes unless it signs a non-disclosure deal, making it impossible to reveal any possible challenges to Microsoft's claims in public. Similarly, Microsoft is widely thought to give 'discounts' to companies like HTC and Samsung that also make Windows Phones, effectively punishing companies that don't use Windows Phone even if it's commercially unsuccessful.