ZTE has agreed to license patents that Microsoft holds relating to Android and Chrome OS. The agreement comes just a week after a similar deal with Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn was revealed. Microsoft says the fresh deal with ZTE means 80 percent of Android smartphones sold in the US and a majority worldwide are covered under its agreements.
Microsoft holds a large number of deals with OEMs including HTC, Acer, Samsung, and LG, with the latest ZTE agreement bringing the number above 20. While Microsoft has convinced many, Google-owned Motorola remains defiant against any patent deals with the software maker. The pair remain locked in legal battles over patents related to the Xbox 360. Microsoft makes a subtle dig at Motorola in its announcement, noting the company has tried to reach amicable solutions with companies who have not yet taken a license. "So far they have been unwilling to address these issues in a fair manner," says Microsoft's Horacio Gutierréz.
Microsoft keeps the details secret
Unlike previous deals, Microsoft has not disclosed whether it will receive royalties from ZTE, and a company spokesperson refused to comment on the matter to Ars Technica. ZTE filed applications for 3,906 patents in 2012, topping the tables worldwide. It's possible that ZTE and Microsoft have signed a cross-licensing agreement as part of the deal, in the same way that Apple and Microsoft have, but without exact details from both parties it's impossible to say.