Microsoft eats Android tablet patent pie -

Microsoft is set to enjoy kick-backs from ODMs and others  as the world goes slate-crazy, thanks to the intellectual property it owns in its legion.

Original Design Manufacturing giant Wistron has just signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft particularly for tablets, mobiles, e-readers and other devices running Android or Chrome software. 

An industry watcher, familiar with the situation, tells us Microsoft is in an interesting position.

We're told most of the smartphone and tablet manufacturers are, in theory, breaching patents that Microsoft holds. Certainly, they've signed patent agreements over Android.

While Microsoft could treat it as more of a cash cow, our source tells us it needs to keep the hardware vendors on the sweet side.

But, as Microsoft says in its statements and through its policy, patent agreements underline the importance of IP to Redmond. 

Essentially, we can expect to see further agreements with the Vole, as Microsoft taps into its rich portfolio when it sees fit.