Usually when we talk patents, it’s because one company is suing another for patent infringement, like in the recent battle between Huawei and Samsung. That’s not the case today, though.
Microsoft is selling approximately 1,500 of its patents to Xiaomi. The deal is part of a “long-term relationship,” the two companies say, that also includes a patent cross-licensing deal and an agreement that’ll see Xiaomi preload Microsoft apps onto its phones and tablets.
Starting in September 2016, Xiaomi devices like the Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3, and Redmi 3 will come preloaded with Microsoft apps. Those will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Skype.
Here’s what Xiaomi SVP Xiang Wang had to say of the deal:
“We are excited to be working closely with Microsoft on a broad technology. As demonstrated by this agreement with Microsoft, Xiaomi is looking to build sustainable, long-term partnerships with global technology leaders, with the ultimate goal of bringing the best user experience to our Mi fans.”
And here’s a statement from Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s EVP of Business Development:
“People want their favorite apps and experiences to work seamlessly on the device of their choice, and that’s exactly what this partnership offers. Together with Xiaomi, we’re bringing the very best in mobile productivity to millions more customers in China and around the world.”
This deal seems like a good tie-up for both sides. While Xiaomi devices are currently only available in select countries, the company sells millions of Android phones and tablets, and soon Microsoft’s productivity apps will be front and center on those devices. Meanwhile, Xiaomi gets to build its patent catalog that could help it expand its presence and defend itself from any future litigation that might come up.