Taiwan’s largest manufacturing services company, Hon Hai, signed a worldwide patent licensing agreement with Microsoft Corp. that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for devices running the Android and Chrome OS, including smartphones, tablets and televisions.
Microsoft reports that the contents of the agreement are confidential; however, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Hon Hai under the agreement.
The patent agreement is an example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in the technology ecosystem. Microsoft 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. 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.
“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.”