Microsoft overnight announced another patent agreement with a major maker of Android and Chrome devices, this time licensing its patents to China’s ZTE, the large manufacturer of smartphones, tablet and computers.
In a post announcing the ZTE deal, Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez noted that 80 percent of Android smartphones sold in the U.S. and a majority of those sold worldwide are now covered by Microsoft patent licenses. Microsoft collects royalties on device sales in many of these agreements.
The ZTE agreement follows a similar deal last week with China’s Hon Hai, the Taipei-based parent company of contract manufacturing giant Foxconn. Microsoft, which claims that Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems violate its patents, has previously struck licensing deals with companies including Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer and Barnes & Noble.
One of the last holdouts is Google’s Motorola unit, which is involved in a variety of legal cases with Microsoft.
Gutierrez writes, “We have worked for multiple years to reach an amicable solution with the few global companies who have yet to take a license, but so far they have been unwilling to address these issues in a fair manner. We’d prefer to consider these companies licensing partners and remain hopeful they can join the rest of the industry in the near future.”
We’ve contacted Google for comment on Microsoft’s statements.