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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.

April 23, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Microsoft signs Android and Chrome patent licensing deal with ZTE

Microsoft has signed another patent licensing agreement, this time with China-based ZTE, one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers.

The agreement grants ZTE a license to Microsoft’s worldwide patent portfolio for technologies used in making ZTE phones, tablets and computers running Google’s Android or Chrome operating systems. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though typically the manufacturer pays Microsoft royalties for each device manufactured.

Microsoft has reached a number of such patent agreements with some of the biggest Android device manufacturers in the world, including Hon Hai (parent company of Foxconn), Samsung, LG and HTC. Microsoft says it has now reached such agreements with the manufacturers or vendors of 80 percent of Android smartphones sold in the U.S. and a majority of those sold worldwide.

One company it has not reached such an agreement with is Motorola, which Google bought last year, in part because of Motorola’s patent portfolio. Microsoft and Motorola are currently embroiled in several legal disputes in courtrooms from Seattle to Washington, D.C. to Mannheim, Germany.

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