Microsoft has announced that it has signed a patent deal with Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE. The latest patent-licensing agreement with ZTE is its continuation of making deals with almost every major Chrome and Android device maker.
With this agreement ZTE is granted a license to Microsoft’s worldwide patent portfolio for ZTE tablets, phones, computers and other devices using Chrome and Android OS. There was no mention about the payments from Microsoft.
“We now have patent deals with companies that make 80 percent of Android phones sold in the United States and a majority of those sold worldwide.”
It seems that Microsoft is marching towards locking deals with various phone makers all across the globe. This can be confirmed with Microsoft’s last week’s announcement about making a deal with Hon Hai, Foxconn’s parent company.
Microsoft’s Vice President and General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez mentioned in his statement that,
“Much of the current litigation in the so-called ‘Smartphone patent wars’ could be avoided if companies were willing to recognize the value of others’ creations in a way that is fair. At Microsoft, experience has taught us that respect for intellectual-property rights is a two-way street, and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights.”
Horacio Gutierrez also mentioned that Microsoft’s patent holders have received more than $4 billion from Microsoft over the last decade against securing rights for products it makes. Though there a debate going whether Chrome and Android infringe on its patents, which are creations of Google; it hasn’t sued Google for the same. In fact, Google has mentioned that neither of its operating systems infringe on patents by Microsoft. Instead, Microsoft has locked agreements with several hardware makers like Wistron, Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics, HTS and Acer.
According to Microsoft, 80% of Android smartphones sold in the United States and worldwide are covered under patent agreements.