Ina Fried

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Microsoft Strikes Another Android Patent Deal, This Time With ZTE

While Microsoft is still struggling to grab market share from Android, it continues to have success getting those using Android to pay patent royalties.


Microsoft said on Tuesday it has struck a deal with China’s ZTE covering any Android or Chrome OS devices it makes. That follows a deal last week with contract manufacturer Foxconn.

With the latest deals, Microsoft now has arrangements in place with the bulk of the leading Android players including Samsung, HTC and LG. Google’s Motorola unit and ZTE rival Huawei are the remaining significant holdouts.

“Much of the current litigation in the so-called ‘smartphone patent wars’ could be avoided if companies were willing to recognize the value of others’ creations in a way that is fair,” Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a blog post. “At Microsoft, experience has taught us that respect for intellectual property rights is a two-way street, and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights.”

Gutierrez noted that Microsoft has paid out more than $4 billion in licensing fees over the last decade.

Microsoft hasn’t said how much it is collecting in revenue from its deals or how that compares with the revenue it gets from its own Windows Phone efforts.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work