- Posted April 28, 2014 by
Foxconn Sells Communications Technology Patents to Google
Tech Reviews by The Corliss Group--Foxconn, which assembles gadgets for companies such as Apple Inc., said it has sold a number of its communications technology patents to Google Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
Taiwan-based Foxconn, officially known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., made a name for itself in contract manufacturing by making Apple's iPhones and Sony's PlayStation game consoles. But few know the electronics manufacturer has been developing new technologies and has a sizable patent portfolio. In a statement, the company said it has applied for 128,400 patents and has been granted more than 64,300 patents world-wide.
In the highly competitive technology industry, companies are challenging each other to set industry standards, which has led to a few patent cases.
Google, which is battling with Apple for mobile dominance, has continued to strengthen its patent portfolio through acquisitions. The Internet giant's purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2011 gave it a formidable patent portfolio, and protected its Android mobile operating system and partners from legal threat from competitors, including Apple and Microsoft Corp.
Foxconn, which also sold some head-mounted display technology patents to Google for an unspecified amount last year, was one of the top 20 U.S. patent owners in 2013, according to Manhattan-based patent advisory company Envision IP.
"Foxconn can make use of its immense U.S. and global patent portfolio, and possibly offer commercial licenses to its customers," said Maulin Shah, managing director at Manhattan-based patent advisory firm Envision IP said. "The company could charge a premium by offering patent licenses integrated with manufacturing contracts, a luxury which many of its competitors may not have."
Foxconn said it would continue to invest in technology research and development, "transforming such investments into valuable intellectual property assets." It declined to provide further details.
Google declined to provide immediate comment.