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Foxconn Must Pay Microsoft For EVERY Android Thing It Makes

From The Register:

Microsoft will collect a royalty for every device built by Foxconn that runs Google operating systems Android or Chrome OS.

Hon Hai, the parent of the Chinese electronics behemoth, confirmed today it has inked a deal to license unspecified Microsoft patents on smartphones, tablets and TVs built by Foxconn that use Google's Linux-derived system software.

Neither party revealed exactly how much money was exchanged, or will be paid, under the new agreement, although Microsoft said a "broad" range of its patent portfolio had been licensed.

Foxconn builds its own Android tablets powered by Nvidia's ARM-compatible Tegra processors, but it is best known as the maker of Apple's iPads and iPhones, Amazon's Kindle, Sony's PlayStation 3, and a huge range of other electronics including laptops.

The manufacturing giant is now one of the biggest names bagged by Microsoft’s campaign to force Linux, Android and Chrome OS device makers to license its patents.

Microsoft now reckons more than 50 per cent of Android phones in the world are built by corporations that have licensed its patents. The factories in Fortress Foxconn alone apparently churn out 40 per cent of the world's consumer electronics.

As a Redmond portfolio licensee, Foxconn joins Samsung - the maker of the world’s most popular Android phones and tablets - and Acer, HTC, LG and Barnes & Noble, plus a list of smaller and lesser-known names punching out Android-powered gadgets and notebooks. Microsoft claims Android, Chrome OS and Linux violate its intellectual property rights, but has not specified which protected designs have been infringed.

Microsoft brought a legal action against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec in early 2011, accusing the Android-powered Nook and Nook Colour e-readers made by Foxconn and Inventec of infringing five Windows user interface patents.

The lawsuit came after the collapse of royalty negotiations between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft. The bookseller claimed the Redmond software giant had demanded fees greater than if it had simply bought copies of Windows and that the licence would restrict its ability to upgrade the software.

Microsoft and Barnes & Noble eventually settled in 2012; the book biz created a new subsidiary to create a Windows-powered e-reader using $300m from Microsoft, which holds a 17 per cent stake in the venture.

Mechanicsville, VA

Just sad... End all patents...

Space Elf
Mullica Hill, NJ
reply to FF4m3

All this patent stuff is getting crazy, And how is it benefiting me the customer?

Also MS never names the patents that cause these deals or that cause the court cases. I am guessing they are weak patents and so MS gets companies to settle outside the court room because if it goes to court the patents have to be made public because court cases have to be public.
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Mentor, OH
reply to FF4m3

It's about the only way MS will make any money. After the "fizzle" that was the win 8 release.

El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Etobicoke, ON
reply to FF4m3

Foxconn (and Samsung) are huge enterprises, anyone care to speculate why they aren't fighting back?

Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


reply to FF4m3

Additional background -

• From Forbes:

Microsoft has been signing such deals widely with people either making or selling kit based on those two Google operating systems. There’re two reasons why.

The first is that Google might be responsible for the two operating systems. Might have designed them with Microsoft patents being abused. But Google doesn’t actually sell them. It gives them away: so there’s no percentage of any revenue that can be usefully charged for having violated those patents. There’s thus no point in trying to sue Google, or even negotiate with them, about said patents.

The second is a more subtle point. Microsoft is very coy about precisely which patents are being trampled upon. There’s been no public statement about exactly which they are. And there’s a certain sense that if they ever did this then Google and or the Open Source community (both Android and Chrome are based upon Linux and it’s possible that the violations are there) would rewrite so as to not be infringing upon those patents. It’s thus in Microsoft’s interest to be able to be a little vague here, gain some revenue, but not end up going head to head with Google itself. Who would most certainly insist upon trial and thus full disclosure of what patents are in fact being abused.

Foxconn's Parent Settles With Microsoft Over Android Licensing:

Vincent Shih, chief legal officer at Microsoft's Taiwan outpost brags that over half of Android manufacturers now license Microsoft intellectual property. Previous reports have indicated that Microsoft is making far more money from these licensing agreements than it is is off its own smartphone product, Windows Phone.

HTC Will Pay Apple $6-$8 Per Android Phone as Part of Patent Settlement:

Apple first sued HTC for infringing on patents related to the iPhone in 2010, as part of the so-called "thermonuclear war" against Google's Android phones and its manufacturing partners declared by Apple's former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs.

...that could work out to be between $180-$280 million paid to Apple annually.

...it is comparable to the $5 that HTC reportedly pays Microsoft per Android device as part of a separate patent settlement.

...the terms of this agreement could be used as a "blueprint" for Apple coming to similar settlements with other Android manufacturers, including Samsung and Motorola.

Microsoft Signs Android IP Deal with Foxconn Parent Company":

Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile OS badly lags behind Android and Apple's iOS. A quarterly report by comScore, including February results, found Google's Android OS leading the pack at 51.7 percent of the smartphone market, followed by Apple's iOS at 38.9 percent, BlackBerry at 5.4 percent and Microsoft's mobile OS at 3.2 percent.

Microsoft may have somewhat made up for the shortfall through its intellectual property deals associated with Android. In the recent past, Goldman Sachs has estimated that these deals may have brought in about $444 million to Microsoft's coffers.


reply to FF4m3

Read this statement for what it really is; Foxconn to start selling Windows computers directly.
All these protection scams that MS has been running has been targeting manufactures of MS products, so if they want to stay in business they have to pay up. Foxconn is now able to get MS licenses at the same cost as others, so they can be competitive on price.
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reply to El Quintron

said by El Quintron:

Foxconn (and Samsung) are huge enterprises, anyone care to speculate why they aren't fighting back?

From Redmondmag:

In past announcements, Microsoft has claimed agreements with about 70 percent of U.S. hardware device makers using Android. Many of the disputes have concerned software usability patents, and only a few companies have resisted in the courts, such as Barnes & Noble and Google's Motorola Mobility arm.