Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it has entered into a new agreement with Hon Hai, the parent company of Foxconn, in which Hon Hai will license Microsoft’s patents. The technology in question involves devices that run Chrome OS and Android, and Hon Hai has agreed to pay Microsoft royalties. Hon Hai and its subsidiaries manufacture more than 40 percent of all consumer electronic devices around the world.
“We are pleased that the list of companies benefiting from Microsoft’s Android licensing program now includes the world’s largest contract manufacturer, Hon Hai,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “By licensing both brand name companies and their contract manufacturers, we have successfully increased the overall effectiveness and global reach of the program.”
Microsoft has several other licensing agreements with various heavy hitters in the tech industry including Samsung, HTC, LG, Barnes & Noble, Acer, ViewSonic, Onkyo, General Dynamics, Velocity Micro, Motorola Mobility Wistron and Quanta Computer.
Microsoft and Foxconn Parent Hon Hai Sign Patent Agreement For Android and Chrome Devices
REDMOND, Wash. — April 16, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. and Hon Hai, the parent company of Foxconn, signed a worldwide patent licensing agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for devices running the Android and Chrome OS, including smartphones, tablets and televisions. While the contents of the agreement are confidential, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Hon Hai under the agreement. Hon Hai joins a growing list of contract manufacturing and original design manufacturing companies with Android and Chrome patent licenses.
“We are pleased that the list of companies benefitting from Microsoft’s Android licensing program now includes the world’s largest contract manufacturer, Hon Hai,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “By licensing both brand name companies and their contract manufacturers, we have successfully increased the overall effectiveness and global reach of the program.”
“Hon Hai is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer that holds more than 54,000 patents worldwide,” said Samuel Fu, director of the Intellectual Property Department at Hon Hai. “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.”
Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property
The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that open Microsoft’s IP portfolio for customers, partners and competitors. The program was developed to provide access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio. Microsoft’s specific patent licensing program for Android device makers has resulted in signed license agreements with numerous companies including Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer and Barnes & Noble.
More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available athttp://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.
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