Chinese hardware firm and telecom giant has been talking with Microsoft regarding patent licenses for Android. Huawei has confirmed the fact that Microsoft is demanding royalty payments from it for using Android software products. Microsoft already has its licensing agreements with a number of Android smartphone vendors and does pretty good out of it. Samsung and Quanta have been included in the recent licenses and coming next is the Redmond firm that is expected to be a Huawei partner as well.
Huawei’s chief marketing officer, Victor Xu, confirmed at a press briefing that “negotiations are in progress” over licensing certain Microsoft patents that are infringed by hardware implementations of Android. Microsoft has previously extracted per-device royalty agreements over Android products from minimum 10 companies that include Samsung, HTC, Compal Electronics (its customers include Dell, HP, and Toshiba), Quanta Computer, Wistron, General Dynamics Itronix, Velocity Micro, Onkyo, Acer and Viewsonic. Microsoft’s Brad Smith said in a blog post in October that license agreement with Compal meant that companies accounting for more than half of all Android devices have accepted the patent license agreements with Microsoft.
Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility might be helpful in providing more protection for Android licenses according to Xu. Huawei has set pretty aggressive targets in the market with the aim to be among the top five smartphone makers in the next three years and and among top three in the next five years. The Shenzhen-based company is the world’s second biggest maker of networking infrastructure for mobile phone networks that is ahead of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks and behind Sweden’s Ericsson. The fifth largest smartphone maker is RIM with its range of Blackberry that shipped 11.8m phones worldwide in the third quarter of the year and third largest is Nokia with 16.8m.
Huawei is planning to open a design center in London by the starting of 2012 that will recruit dozens of people to work on product design for the company. According to analysts at Goldman Sachs, Microsoft makes about $500 per year out of its licenses. It has been regularly defending its licenses covering both Android and Google Chrome OS but has been a bit slow to respond publicly on topics covering patent details and its subsequent characteristics.