Huawei in Android patent talks with Microsoft

By Tom Warren, on 8th Nov 11 10:38 am with 30 Comments

Huawei, a Chinese telecoms group, confirmed on Monday that it is in patent talks with Microsoft.

Victor Xu, Huawei’s chief marketing officer, revealed the company’s discussions with Microsoft are “in progress.” The talks relate to Huawei’s use of Google’s Android operating system in some of its products. “Yes, Microsoft has come to us,” Xu said to The Guardian in an interview on Monday. “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.”

Microsoft is attempting to secure royalty payments from a variety of Android manufacturers. Microsoft has previously inked patent protection deals with WistronGeneral Dynamics Itronix,Velocity MicroOnkyoAcerViewsonicQuanta and Samsung. The deals reflect Microsoft’s efforts developing new products, according to the company. Microsoft is also chasing Motorola for a similar Android patent deal. Google announced in August that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Google CEO Larry Page noted at the time of the deal announcement that Microsoft and Apple are “banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android.” Google hopes its move to purchase Motorola Mobility will better protect Android in the future.

  • Anonymous

    hahaha :D

    • http://twitter.com/travelsko travelsko

      Microsoft is a patenttroll, I wonder if Asia wants to pay the Microsoft tax???

    • Guest

      Haha, you surely do not know what patent troll mean :).

  • http://shareourideas.com/ Naga Harish

    Superb!, Come on Microsoft….

  • GP007

    Another one down, google must be pulling it’s hair out each time they here about another MS deal.

    • Anonymous

      Wait until they win their case against Motorola Mobility, then you’ll see some real hair pulling. Probably some fireworks too.

  • Mina

    … and that will be the first Chinese company to ever pay for anything! Go M$$!

    • Anonymous

      lol so true. in china, if the IP belongs to somebody overseas, it is considered free.

    • Tom

      A company that only sells domestically in China can get away with things that a multinational can’t.  You won’t find Lenovo selling computers with pirated copies of Windows, for example.

      Huawei generates 65% of its revenues overseas.  In order to receive reciprocity on their own patents, they also have to respect other companies’ patents.

      Incidentally, this example just goes to show how out-of-touch Google is.  Other companies are like: You’ve got patents, we’ve got patents, let’s strike a deal.  Google’s like: you’ve got patents, we just bought some patents, you’re eeee-vil.

    • Justfortherecord

      Google is a hypocrite of the worst kind. Android was an entity they purchased by a founder who worked for Danger (maker of the sidekick, remember those?) and Microsoft bought Danger. This reminds me of the movie fountainhead

      here is the last scene and the the whole movie. The first two scenes perfectly apply to the opens source community and Google itself particularly

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VkAz8rw8kqY (Last Scene)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtBJ9ixCiNM&feature=related (First Scenes 1,2)

  • Mr Lefleur

    one at a time :)

  • Manish

    I think this is good strategy.  The money MS will receive from such patent deal can be repumped in the development and marketing of WP7 or future version.  This will help to save MS money earned from other business.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting. But I still think MSFT should monetize wp7 the same way google does. That is, give it away for free but without the ability to modify it. That would create a situation where OEMs are actually paying more for having to support, modify, maintain, and pay MSFT royalties for android than they would with WP. With the razor thin margins on hardware these days, a cost advantage on wp7 would put additional pressure on OEMs to support it with more handsets which until now has been the only reason android has succeeded.

    • Anonymous

      that would help getting more manufacturer support, but how is Microsoft going to monetize it then? Google is mostly interested in search and advertising. How is MS going to make money on it?

    • Anonymous

      MSFT has a search and advertising platform. they would make money the same way google is: bundle your services which generate ad revenue for them. everything from search, maps, local, social. But even if they broke even or ran at a loss, every ad dollar they take from google is a huge gain to them since google has never figured out a single revenue model that doesn’t rely on ads. MSFT’s windows/office/enterprise sales alone can propel a decades long war to ad-starve google. Surely apple has the same approach for google in its quest to rapid marketshare killed all other ways to monetize its future.

    • Guest

      And one day they probably hope that will give them the option of providing some software for free and making it back on advertising. But that day isn’t here now. Indeed it’s not even close. MS is already losing more than $4 billion a year trying to starve Google of advertising profits. It’s hasn’t worked so far and there’s no indication it’s going to any time soon. In case you missed it, MS’s stock has been in an eleven year downtrend. It has lost money for the last two years in a row even after dividends. If Ballmer was to go full retard, like you suggest, the stock would crash even further and he would likely get fired.

    • Guest

      Google can afford to give it away for free. It’s not a profit center for them. They’ve said as much. It’s just a new way to monetize their existing search profit center. MS is losing $1 billion a quarter on Bing. They can’t monetize existing traffic sufficiently. Giving away WP7 wouldn’t help that.

      Their existing strategy of charging a modest licensing fee for WP7 while simultaneously raising the price on Android via royalties, is about the only play they can make.

  • Anonymous

    Companies that have patents of their own and are ready to do pure business are always willing to pay royalties for other peoples IP or are always willing to come to some patent cross licencing deal.
     
    Unlike Google who seem to have no patents and dont have respect for other peoples IP.
    Now they come up with all these nonsense about MS using pattents to bully others. If they actually ever built anything new and innovative other than the Google search algorithm, then they’d know how it feels when someone infringes on your IP.

  • http://twitter.com/travelsko travelsko

    Microsoft is a patenttroll, I wonder if Asia wants to pay the Microsoft tax???

  • Anonymous

    One of the “mistakes” that MS did with WP platform is the uniformity. Well, it sounds good for consumers, but very bad for large OEMs. In WP there is no way to differentiate between the products of various OEMs. All of them “look and feel” same. Yes, you have some design differences, but that’s about it. At the end of the day, all of them are rectangular bars with glass slab. OEMs can’t even compete by putting their own SoC. Look at how it worked in the notebook/desktop area. Only hardware manufacturer that makes some profit from hardware is Apple. None of the other big OEMs are making any money (profit, not sales). Why is that so?? For a common man, there is no difference between a Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Samsung etc., The same will happen with WP platform. MS will get all the profits, and the OEMs will pay the high price to license the OS from MS. No customization, and at the end of the day they will end up like pure commodities. I wonder how Samsung will generate 2.4 billion/quarter in profit from MS platform like they do for Android. People know that if they want to buy a Android, GS2 is the go-to device. ANd they sold a ton as it was DIFFERENT form other Android devices. In WP, they don’t have any such device. All of them function same, no OEM can ever create a totally superior device compared to others. AFter few years, only thing they will fight with will be the price. Whoever sells at the cheapest, will sell more with no profit margin. Same OS scenario that we see today.  

    • Guest

      WTF are you babbling about? Lack of uniformity was one of the main reasons that WM became fragmented and a variable and often poor experience on any particular phone. Android is starting to suffer from exactly the same phenomenon. MS was right to insist on a basic level of uniformity and are relaxing that a bit as they go along, like we’ve seen with Nokia.

      OEMs are already facing commoditization from cheap Chinese ripoffs as well as the intense level of competition generally. Samsung has a limited set of choices. They can continue on with Android and trust Google that they won’t provide MMI with any special leg up (cough). There they’ll face competition from every low cost provider, incur royalties and face litigation threats from Apple, Oracle, and others. They can further embrace WP7. Or they can try to make a go of one of the lesser OSes. The only person who is likely to maintain outsized margins is Apple, and even those are likely to come down substantially from where they are now.

    • Anonymous

      WM was shit. Period. That was a king of crap. 

      Send me the detail of the hardware OEM who made 2.4 billion in profit from WP platform. Ok, let me relax the question for you – find me any hardware OEM who makes this amount of profit combining both WP and PC. 

      As for MMI, that still works as separate co by itself. Sanjay Jha will remain the CEO. The Moto brand will still continue. Just another business vertical for Google. 

      If you talk about MMI, why forget about how Nokia is in bed with MS?? How can OEMs trust MS when they know that MS will not provide Nokia with any special leg up (cough)? 
      Let me give you a glowing example of a company – HP. Why do you think they want to move from consumer PC business? Why did IBM sell their PC business if it was so damn profitable? You never seem to to answer why no (I mean not 1 single OEM) managed to make a profit of 1 billion? Samsung’s profit from Android in this quarter will be equal to the combined profit from all PC OEMs in the world. And look at the way they have increasing their sales and profit yr-over-yr. Just google-it

    • Guest

      “As for MMI, that still works as separate co by itself. Sanjay Jha will remain the CEO. The Moto brand will still continue. Just another business vertical for Google.”

      Thanks for the Google talking points. Do you think anybody besides yourself believes them?

    • Guest

      “Samsung’s profit from Android in this quarter will be equal to the combined profit from all PC OEMs in the world”

      Dude, are you on crack?

    • Guest

      “Right now the most logical type of antitrust concern I see is that the proposed acquisition would exacerbate existing concerns over Google’s treatment of device makers. Google is known to act very heavy-handedly and to restrict the choices those device makers have with respect to product differentiation and innovation. But post-acquisition we’d be talking about a fundamentally worse problem: Google could use revenues from its dominant search business to subsidize MMI and, as a result, undercut other handset makers. That kind of outcome would be a nightmare from a competition law point of view because it would distort competition in two markets at the same time.”

  • Energydynamix

    41 legal cases against andriod from apple, msft, oracle and more even from linux world.