Chinese telecom firm Huawei has become the latest target of Microsoft's continued Android-related IP patent licensing program, with the software giant reportedly demanding royalty payments for the company's use of Android software.
In a discussion with the Guardian on Monday, Victor Xu, chief marketing officer for Huawei devices confirmed that "negotiations are in progress" over the licensing of certain Microsoft patents that the Redmond-based software firm claims are infringed by hardware used in Android-based phones.
"We always respect the intellectual property of companies. But we have 65,000 patents worldwide too. We have enough to protect our interests. We are a very important stakeholder in Android," Xu commented to the newspaper. He also hinted that Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, although still in progress, could lead to more protection from Google for Android partners.
The company has very big ambitions in the smartphone market and has established very aggressive targets. They aim to be among the top five smartphone makers over the next three years, and in the top three in the next five years. Huawei announced plans to open a design center in London, England, which will employ dozens of people to work on the design of products for the company. Mark Mitchinson, vice president of UK operations said it should open in early 2012.
Huawei is likely to join another 10 or so companies Microsoft has agreed to "partnerships" with and an announcement will no doubt follow soon via the official Microsoft on the Issues blog. So far they've reached licensing agreements with Samsung, Quanta, HTC, General Dynamics Itronix, Wistron, Acer, Vierwsonic, Velocity Micro and Onkyo.
According to the Business Insider, in a report published by Goldman, Microsoft is getting $3-6 per Android device sold which will net it around $444 million for the fiscal year ending 2012.
The last round of Microsoft's campaign against Android saw Taiwan-based Quanta Computers reach an agreement last month, earning it royalties for every Android and Chrome based device the firm sells.