Microsoft gets Motorola Solutions to pay for lawsuit protection for Android use

Microsoft argues Chrome OS and Android contain its patented technology, and has struck licensing deals with Dell, HTC, Samsung and others

Microsoft has extended its controversial yet successful crusade to extract licensing fees from vendors that use Google's Android and Chrome operating systems, adding Motorola Solutions to the list of vendors agreeing to patent deals.

The license gives Motorola Solutions "worldwide coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio" for its devices running Android and Chrome OS.

At issue is Microsoft's claim that the Google operating systems contain Microsoft patented technology. Vendors that don't strike a licensing deal with Microsoft risk being sued.

"Microsoft prefers licensing to litigation, since licensing is a more effective way to share technology and accelerate the pace of innovation," said Nick Psyhogeos, general manager, associate general counsel, IP licensing of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft, in a statement.

Joe White, vice president of Enterprise Mobile Computing at Motorola Solutions, said in the statement that the company is "pleased" it reached a deal with Microsoft that lets customers purchase its Android products "with confidence."

Google has blasted Microsoft and other vendors, including Apple and Oracle, for waging what Google terms "a hostile, organized campaign against Android" using "bogus patents."

Other vendors that have signed similar patent licensing deals with Microsoft over Android, Chrome OS or both in recent years include ZTE, Samsung, Dell, Sharp, LG, Barnes & Noble, Hoeft & Wessel and HTC.

Motorola Solutions is a publicly traded company based in Illinois with about 21,000 employees in 65 countries. It shouldn't be confused with Motorola Mobility, which Google owns and is in the process of selling to Lenovo.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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