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April 24, 2013

Chinese Smartphone Maker ZTE Signs Patent Licensing Agreement with Microsoft

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

Thank you, Queen, for the lyric that best captures how to describe Microsoft and its pursuit of licensing deals for the use of Android!

Last week we made note of Microsoft announcing that Foxconn parent Hon Hai has joined the ranks of Microsoft Android patent licensees. Today comes word that that Microsoft has added yet another notch to its Android patent belt with the addition of ZTE to its collection. God bless 'em is all we can say.

On his blog today, Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's corporate VP and deputy general counsel, legal and corporate affairs (how's that for a title), wrote the following: "Today, we’re pleased to announce that ZTE, one of the world’s largest smartphone companies, has joined a long list of companies that have signed patent license agreements with Microsoft. Under the agreement, Microsoft grants ZTE a license to Microsoft’s worldwide patent portfolio for ZTE phones, tablets, computers and other devices running Android and Chrome OS. This follows our announcement last week of a similar agreement with Foxconn’s parent company, Hon Hai."

Gutierrez also goes on to pontificate a good bit about how the world is such a better place when patents are respected and honored. Of course most companies would simply prefer to pay a little bit up front to Microsoft rather than risk the wrath and possibly huge expense of getting entangled in a patent lawsuit later on. We've noted all of this in our Hon Hai article.

The other thing we noted there is our ongoing amusement over Microsoft raking in such dollars on Android. Some analysts have speculated - and speculation is all it is - that the company may be pulling in between $500 and $750 million annually. Is that more than Microsoft brings in through its Nokia Windows Phone deal? It could very well be the case once we factor in what Microsoft hands back to Nokia in dollars as part of their deal.

Either way, Android is certainly proving itself as far as Microsoft is concerned.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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