Microsoft signs Hop-on to licensing programme

Microsoft signs Hop-on to licensing programme


Microsoft has struck a deal with electronics company Hop-on that allows it to license patents reading on Android and Chrome technology.

The global deal, announced on Thursday, February 20, sees Hop-on paying royalties to Microsoft, but the details are confidential.

US company Hop-on makes a range of products, from smartphones and tablets to TVs and e-readers. It claims to have developed the world’s first disposable mobile and smartphones.

Under the agreement with Microsoft, Hop-on will license a “broad coverage” of Microsoft's patent portfolio covering devices running the Android and Chrome systems. The deal includes smartphones and tablets.

“We are pleased that the list of companies benefitting from Microsoft's Android licensing programme now includes a US based manufacturer of affordable cellular technologies,” said Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel of the innovation and IP group at Microsoft. “Licensing is an effective way to share technology and build on each other's work to provide valued products to consumers.”

Peter Michaels, Hop-on chief executive, said the agreement represents “our respect for intellectual property rights, and enables us to continue to provide cost friendly and technologically advanced devices to consumers".

Hop-on has an “extensive” portfolio of essential patent rights for mobile communications and computing technologies, Michaels said.

The deal means Hop-on joins more than 20 companies licensing Microsoft’s patents covering Android, including Samsung, HTC and LG. Microsoft claims that 80 percent of Android smartphones sold in the US and “a majority” of those sold worldwide fall under its licensing agreements.

Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing programme in December 2003, the company has signed more than 1,100 agreements.

In September last year, Hop-on developed what it said is the first disposable and fully recyclable smartphone, the Hop 1930, which sells for $25. It followed the company’s launch, in 2001, of the “first” disposable mobile phone. The company says the disposable and rechargeable phone market is a billion dollar industry.

(Source: WIPR)

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