Microsoft's latest patent licensee: Android embedded device maker Hoeft & Wessel

Microsoft has signed a patent-licensing deal with Hoeft & Wessel AG, a German maker of Android-based devices and terminals for a variety of vertical markets.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has struck yet another patent-licensing deal with a company using the Android operating system.


The latest licensee, Hoeft & Wessel AG, isn't a household name, at least here in the U.S. The German IT vendor makes devices and terminals for the public transportation, logistics and retail industries that rely on Android as their embedded operating system.

The two companies aren't sharing details of the agreement, beyond the fact that Microsoft will receive unspecified royalties from Hoeft & Wessel. Microsoft announced the arrangement with Hoeft & Wessel on December 11.

Microsoft is continuing its campaign to convince PC and device makers running Android and Chrome OS that they should license Microsoft's patents to avoid licensing disputes in the future. Microsoft officials have not made public a list of the Microsoft patents on which the company claims Android infringes.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has signed patent-licensing deals with a number of key OEMs and ODMs (original design manufacturers) using Linux, Android and Chrome OS, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Buffalo, Compal, General Dynamics, HTC, LG Electronics, Pegatron, Samsung, TomTom, and Velocity Micro, among others.

Update: Microsoft also announced a similar patent-licensing deal on December 11 with EINS SE, which makes Android-based tablets sold under the Cat brand in Germany.

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