Last week, Microsoft announced that it had entered a patent licensing agreement with Foxconn parent Hon Hai, covering devices that run Android and Chrome OS. Today, it has made the same announcement, this time concerning ZTE. Says Microsoft, the agreement grants the Chinese smartphone maker license to its “worldwide patent portfolio.”
Microsoft brings up the smartphone patent wars in its announcement, saying that such a reality could be sidestepped if companies recognized and fairly sought another’s creation. It boasts having patent licensing agreements with almost all major Android smartphone vendors, and says that 80-percent of handsets running the mobile OS are covered by such agreements.
For its part, Microsoft says it has shelled out in excess of $4 billion in the last ten years in acquiring intellectual property rights for its products, something it calls part of a balanced approach that has lead to its success with entering into license partnerships with many vendors. The company wraps up by mentioning that a few global businesses are still holding out from getting a license.
Says Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s VP and Deputy General Cousel of Legal and Corporate Affairs: “The ZTE and Foxconn agreements show once more that technology companies around the world, including some of the world’s largest and fastest growing manufacturers anchored in China, recognize licensing is an effective way to share technology and build on each other’s work…”