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ZTE Inks Licensing Deal With Microsoft

Microsoft announced that it has reached patent licensing agreement with China's ZTE on Android and Chrome operating system patents.

Microsoft will provide a patent portfolio to ZTE's smartphones, tablets, computers, and other devices run on Android and Chrome operating systems. ZTE is reportedly the first Chinese mainland company that signed an Android patent licensing agreement with Microsoft.

Prior to this, Microsoft and Taiwan-based Hon Hai Group also reached an Android patent licensing agreement. Hon Hai will pay for the use of the patents, though the detailed costs were not disclosed. Microsoft did not reveal how much it will charge ZTE either.

David Kaefer, general manager of the intellectual property rights licensing business of Microsoft, told local media that at present, Microsoft and Google are still in litigation over uses of the Android system in Europe and America. Kaefer said the two parties have already reached some licensing agreements about the Android system patent issues; however, these agreements only target Android devices manufactured by Motorola Mobility, currently a subsidiary of Google.

Microsoft said over the past ten years, Microsoft spent USD4 billion in buying patents from other companies, to realize its legal use of these technologies. Microsoft believes this respect of patents is mutual and they expect the same respect from others.

Kaefer said so far, Microsoft has signed patent licensing agreements with nearly all Android device providers and makers around the world. These agreements cover 80% of Android smartphones sold in America, and the ratio worldwide is 60%.

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