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Hon Hai to Pay ‘Microsoft Tax’ on Android, Chrome

Hon Hai’s customers won’t have to worry anymore about getting sued by Microsoft for patent infringement

Foxconn's parent company Hon Hai, the world's largest contract manufacturer, is going to pay Microsoft royalties on all the Android and Chrome widgets it makes including smartphones, tablets and televisions under the broad worldwide patent licensing agreement they've just cut.

Hon Hai's customers won't have to worry anymore about getting sued by Microsoft for patent infringement.

Hon Hai said its holds more than 54,000 patents itself and "We recognize and respect the importance of international efforts that seek to protect intellectual property. The licensing agreement with Microsoft represents those efforts and our continued support of international trade agreements that facilitate implementation of effective patent protection."

Microsoft could do quite nicely since Google chairman Eric Schmidt has been saying how he wants Android "everywhere."

Android device makers such as Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer, Barnes & Noble and half of the world's contract manufacturers of Android devices like Pegatron, Quanta, Compal and Wistron are already paying the "Microsoft tax."

Google doesn't recognize Microsoft's patent infringement claims, which is why its Motorola Mobility subsidiary has been in US and Germany courts with Microsoft. Hon Hai signing on would appear to weaken Motorola's legal position.

Foxconn is best known as Apple's biggest manufacturer.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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