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Microsoft nails second Android device maker

Patent dealing

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Microsoft has nailed a second Android device maker to a patent licensing agreement.

The Redmond software giant announced on Monday that General Dynamics Itronix has signed a patent agreement that will provide "broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio".

In other words, General Dynamics Itronix has agreed to licensing certain, unnamed Microsoft patents for use with Android-powered portables.

As usual, detailed terms of the deal have not been announced, but Microsoft will receive royalties from General Dynamics Itronix under the agreement for every Android device it sells.

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, said in a statement: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with General Dynamics Itronix, which is an example of how industry leaders address intellectual property."

General Dynamics Itronix follows smartphone maker HTC to also agree to pay Microsoft royalties on patents it claims are used in connection with Google's operating system.

Microsoft receives $5 per Android device HTC ships.

It's likely Microsoft approached General Dynamics Itronix and said Android violated its patents and then asked for royalties to settle the matter. And it seems the OEM agreed to agree. Others have not: Microsoft has lodged legal actions against Motorola claiming the Android-based Droid X and Droid 2, along with other handsets, violate nine of the company's software patents. Microsoft is also taking action against Barnes & Noble, Invetec, and Foxconn International over alleged patent infringements by the Android-based Nook e-reader sold by Barnes & Noble. ®

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