Hon Hai signs up with Microsoft over patents

Hon Hai, parent company of electronics maker Foxconn, has signed a deal with Microsoft that will allow it to legally produce devices with Android and Chrome OS patents – the cash going to Redmond for each device.

Microsoft owns patents critical to both Android and Chrome. Although the full details of the deal have not been made public, it is understood Hon Hai will have to cough up a royalty cheque for each Android and Chrome based device that it knocks out.

PC Mag caught a tweet from Horacio Gutierrez, corporate veep for IP at Microsoft, which boasted virtually all Android manufacturers have signed with Redmond, including heavy hitters like HTC, LG, and Apple rival numero uno, Samsung.

Hon Hai’s Samuel Fu, who looks after intellectual property at the manufacturing powerhouse, said that the company recognises and respects the “importance of international efforts that seek to protect intellectual property” – and that the deal “represents those efforts”. 

The deal signifies Hon Hai’s “continued support of international trade agreements”, and certainly not any legal wrangling from Microsoft. Fu pointed out that Hon Hai holds plenty of its own patents too.

It has long been speculated that with the proliferation of Android virtually everywhere – as part of Google’s blanket attempt to smother Apple out of the mega-bucks popularity contest – the real winner could be Microsoft. Even though its own smartphones aren’t exactly flying off the shelves, each Android device sold is an earner.