Microsoft and Foxconn Sign Massive Android Patent Deal
Foxconn's parent company Hon Hai has just joined the stable of other companies that have had to sign a patent deal with Microsoft in order to produce and sell Android-based smartphones. Despite the Android OS being a Google product, Microsoft has long convinced those who produce Android devices to pay royalties, as it believes that Google implements technologies patented by itself. Most vendors have agreed to these terms to avoid messy court battles, although Google has always considered Microsoft's claims to be bogus.
Back in 2011, we reported that Microsoft had increased its pressure on the market enough to receive royalties on a staggering 50% of Android devices sold. Where that percentage stands today, we're not exactly sure, but according to this FOSS Patents blog post, Hon Hai has become the 20th licensee.
The terms of Hon Hai's deal with Microsoft has not been disclosed, but as the BBC mentions, patent law restricts Microsoft from "double dipping", in the sense that it could claim royalties from both Foxconn and the brands it produces hardware for.
One must wonder that if Microsoft really does have "bogus" claims with these patents, why are many of these companies not joining forces to take the Redmond company head-on? The fact that this isn't happening only adds to the validity of Microsoft's claims.