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Microsoft signs Compal to Android-Chrome licensing deal

Software giant says it now has inked patent-protection deals with half the world's original design manufacturers.

Microsoft announced today it had signed another hardware maker to a patent-protection deal, marking the milestone of having half the world's original design manufacturers on board with its Android-Chrome licensing effort.

China-based Compal Electronics will pay undisclosed royalties to the software giant for use of Google's Android and Chrome operating systems used in smartphones, tablet, and other consumer electronics, the company said.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry," Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft, said in a statement. "Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta Computer, today's agreement with Compal means more than half of the world's ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft's patent portfolio."

Rather than going after Google for patent violations, Microsoft has targeted device makers, pressing them to license Microsoft's patents that it alleges Android and Chrome infringe upon. Earlier this month, Microsoft signed Quanta Computer to an Android licensing deal for both operating systems. In July, Microsoft reached a deal with another Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Wistron, over Chrome.

Microsoft has sued Barnes & Noble for violating patents that cover its Nook electronic reader, which runs on Android, and Motorola, alleging that several of the handset maker's Android devices infringe on Microsoft patents.