Microsoft signs Hop-on Inc. as another Android patent licensee

U.S.-based cellphone maker Hop-on is the latest company to sign an Android patent-licensing deal with Microsoft.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

A week after announcing an Android patent-licensing deal with Voxx Electronics, Microsoft is announcing yet another Android/Chrome OS patent licensee: Hop-on Inc.


Hop-On is paying Microsoft an undisclosed amount of royalties for patented software it is using on its smartphones and tablets, according to a February 20 press release.

"We are pleased that the list of companies benefitting from Microsoft's Android licensing program now includes a U.S.-based manufacturer of affordable cellular technologies," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft in a statement in the press release.

Hop-On is a global OEM/ODM (original equipment manufacturer/original design manufacturer) of electronics. The company is based in Las Vegas. According to Hop-on's Web site, the company "has successfully secured essential patents for mobile communications and computing technologies, and is respected for developing the world’s first disposable cell phone."

Hop-on makes not only smartphones and tablets, but also Android and/or Chrome OS-based televisions, set-top boxes, eReaders and mobile-device apps.

According to FOSS Patents founder Florian Mueller, Microsoft had announced 21 Android-patent licensing deals prior to the Hop-On one. Microsoft previously signed patent-licensing deals with companies using Android and Chrome OS, under which those companies have agreed to pay Microsoft undisclosed fees to cover unspecified patented Microsoft technologies that are part of these Google operating systems.

Microsoft previously signed patent licenses with Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and more.

For Microsoft, patent licensing is believed to be one of the company's billion-dollar businesses in its own right.

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