Microsoft has just signed a patent deal with ZTE that covers all Android and Chrome devices manufactured by the Chinese firm. This latest agreement comes a week after Microsoft scored a major coup by striking a similar patent licensing deal with Taiwanese smart phone maker Hon Hai, which owns Foxconn.
According to the Tencent News, in the past decade, Microsoft paid to other companies over four billion U.S. dollars in order to obtain the relevant patent licensing. If companies share fair recognition of the value created by others, most of the so-called “smart phone patent wars” litigations could be avoided.
According to IDC’s latest global smart phone rankings, besides Samsung and Apple (both giants occupy more than 20% of the global smart phone market share), Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad have become the world’s top ten smartphone vendors, but smart phone market share of each of them is between 5% and 3%. None of them can take a significant lead over others.
Up to now, companies such as Nikon, LG, HTC, Samsung and Foxconn have agreed to pay Microsoft patent fees on the use of Android, but besides ZTE, there is no other domestic smart phone companies have reached an agreement with Microsoft. It is worth noting that recently, a number of Chinese smart phone manufacturers including Lenovo are trying to enter the overseas market, the just signed patent agreement between Microsoft and ZTE will have special meanings affecting the internationalization of the Made-in-China branded smartphones.
It is reported that Google has long been insisting that the Android system does not infringe any Microsoft patents.