Microsoft strikes patent-licensing agreement with Foxconn parent Hon Hai

Microsoft strikes patent-licensing agreement with Foxconn parent Hon HaiIn what apparently is Microsoft's biggest licensing deal thus far, the company has worked out a patent-licensing agreement with Hon Hai Precision Industry, the parent company of Taiwan's Foxconn which manufactures nearly 40 percent of the world's consumer electronic devices.

With the patent-licensing agreement to chiefly protect Foxconn from being sued by Microsoft over the Android- or Chrome-based devices that its manufactures, Hon Hai and Microsoft said in a Tuesday announcement that, under the terms of the agreement, Hon Hai will pay Microsoft unspecified royalties in exchange for "broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio."

The agreement with Hon Hai marks a profitable culmination of Microsoft's long patent-licensing campaign which essentially had the company arguing that Google's Android and Chrome operating system's infringed on Microsoft's patented technology in a number of areas, ranging from the user interface to the underlying OS.

About Microsoft's patent-licensing agreement with Hon Hai, Horacio Gutierrez - the Corporate VP and deputy general counsel of Microsoft's Intellectual Property Group - said in a statement: "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."

Gutierrez further added that by licensing both brand name companies and their contract manufacturers, Microsoft has "successfully increased the overall effectiveness and global reach of the (patent-licensing) program."