80% of Android smartphones sold are licensed under Microsoft’s patents, ZTE joins the club


ZTE Logo

Microsoft has announced that China’s ZTE, one of the world’s largest smartphone companies in the world, has joined the software giant’s patent licensing agreement. This news comes one week after Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai signed a similar Android patent license agreement with Microsoft.

This agreement with ZTE grants ZTE a license to Microsoft’s worldwide patent portfolio for ZTE’s phones, tablets, computers, and any device running Android or Chrome OS. In other words, ZTE will pay Microsoft royalties for selling it’s own devices. Thanks to this new agreement, 80% of Android phones sold in the United States are now licensed under Microsoft’s patent agreement. A majority of Android phones worldwide are also a part of this agreement, thanks to this new deal with ZTE.

Microsoft believes that smartphone patent wars could be avoided if companies just played fair. “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. This is why we have paid others more than $4 billion over the last decade to secure intellectual property rights for the products we provide our customers,” Microsoft explained.

Just last week, Microsoft inked a deal with Foxconn’s patent, Hon Hai, in a patent agreement for Android and Chrome OS. In essence, the patent agreement prevents Hon Hai from being sued for patent infringement when it comes to using Google’s Chrome OS or Android OS in products such as smartphones and tablets, in exchange for royalties.