Microsoft and Hon Hai sign patent licensing deal

Microsoft has inked a patent licensing deal with consumer electronics manufacturer Hon Hai that will see the tech giant receive payment for devices powered by Android and Chrome operating systems.

The agreement covers smartphones, tablets and televisions and Hon Hai – which is the parent company of Foxconn – said it hopes this will prevent its clients from being caught up in any intellectual property disputes.

However, Microsoft has not disclosed the financial terms – or the patents – covered in the arrangement, which is believed to be the biggest Android licensing deal it has signed to date.

Samuel Fu, Hon Hai’s intellectual property director, said the company recognises and respects the importance of international efforts that seek to protect intellectual property.

He added: “The licensing agreement with Microsoft represents those efforts and our continued support of international trade agreements that facilitate implementation of effective patent protection.”

Not just the manufacturer of Android and Chrome OS handsets, Foxconn also makes iPad and iPhone hardware for Apple plus laptop components for Lenovo. Last year, its annual profits exceeded $110 billion (£72.1 billion).