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Huawei talks to Microsoft about Android licensing

Huawei is discussing an Android-related patent licensing deal with Microsoft, the company has said.Multiple reports on Tuesday had Victor Xu, the chief marketing officer of Huawei's Device division, saying negotiations with Microsoft were "in progress".
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Huawei is discussing an Android-related patent licensing deal with Microsoft, the company has said.

Multiple reports on Tuesday had Victor Xu, the chief marketing officer of Huawei's Device division, saying negotiations with Microsoft were "in progress". This suggests Huawei is the latest in a long line of Android kit manufacturers to be approached by Microsoft over patent licensing.

Microsoft, which has for years maintained that Linux infringes on certain unspecified Microsoft patents, claimed in April last year that the Linux-based Android was also infringing. That claim came as Microsoft signed a deal with HTC that would see the Taiwanese manufacturer pay the US software firm what analysts claim is $5 (£3) per Android device.

Since then, Microsoft has signed similar deals with companies including Samsung, Compal, Wistron, Acer, Viewsonic and General Dynamics Itronix. The financial terms of the deals are never disclosed.

Motorola struck back at Microsoft's demands a year ago by launching its own patent infringement suit against the software firm. Barnes & Noble has also resisted, calling Microsoft's claims "part of a scheme to try to eliminate or marginalise the competition to its own Windows Phone 7 mobile device operating system posed by the open-source Android operating system and other open-source operating systems".

Google chief Larry Page pointed out in October that many of the firms Microsoft has approached for Android licensing fees, notably HTC and Samsung, are also makers of Windows Phones. He said it was "kind of odd" that Microsoft was "resorting to legal measures to hassle their own customers".

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