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By 30 June 2011 | Categories: news

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Microsoft has signed a patent agreement with its second Android OEM manufacturer this week, following its earlier deal with General Dynamics Itronix. The Redmond-based company has signed a patent pact with PC manufacturer Velocity Micro Inc., providing the latter with broad coverage under its patent portfolio for Velocity Micro’s Android-based devices, including the Cruz tablet.

As in the case of Microsoft’s similar agreements with HTC and General Dynamics Itronix, the Redmond-based software giant will receive royalties from Velocity Micro under the terms of this agreement.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Velocity Micro, Inc., to address and secure IP rights for its Android-based Cruz tablet devices,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.

Randy Copeland, CEO of Velocity Micro stated: “By entering into this agreement with Microsoft, Velocity Micro, Inc., will be able to better meet the needs of our customers with the introduction of exciting new Cruz tablets having increased performance and functionality.”

A recent report from MobileCrunch suggests that Microsoft has made five times as much money from Android royalties, than it has made from its own Windows Phone 7 OS. This is quite staggering if you consider that the software giant plays no role in the development, distribution or support of Google’s Android mobile OS.

For its part Google has made a $900 million bid to buy Nortel’s patent portfolio (numbering around 6000 patents) in an attempt to “create a disincentive for others [like Microsoft] to sue Google” over patents. As can be expected Microsoft has objected (as has Nokia and HP) to the proposed bankruptcy sale of Nortel’s patents stating that it would give the successful bidder “an unfair competitive advantage.”

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