China’s Hon Hai, the Taipei-based parent company of contract manufacturing giant Foxconn, will pay patent royalties to Microsoft for the Android and Chrome-based devices it makes under a licensing agreement announced by the companies tonight.
It’s a significant win for Microsoft’s patent licensing efforts. Foxconn makes an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics, working under contract for many of the largest technology companies.
Specific financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.
The deal is the latest in a series of patent agreements reached by Microsoft with major makers of Android and Chrome devices, including LG, HTC, Samsung, and Acer. Microsoft claims that elements of the Google operating systems violate its patented technologies.
The news release announcing the deal includes this statement from Samuel Fu, director of Hon Hai’s intellectual property department: “Hon Hai is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer that holds more than 54,000 patents worldwide. We recognize and respect the importance of international efforts that seek to protect intellectual property. The licensing agreement with Microsoft represents those efforts and our continued support of international trade agreements that facilitate implementation of effective patent protection.”