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Xiaomi Purchases 1,500 Microsoft Patents as it Prepares to Land in the US in 2017


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Last July Patently Apple posted a report titled "Xiaomi's Barra Says that they can't allow a Company (Apple) to Take Ownership of Smartphone Design." We noted in the report that "Xiaomi's Barra hinted in a segment of a Bloomberg interview that Xiaomi will be selling smartphones in the U.S. market within the next 18-24 months. When asked about the potential problems of fighting patents, Barra noted that they're licensing what they'll need to sell smartphones in the US but are also building a war chest of patents to defend against any potential lawsuits." Today we're learning that Xiaomi just signed a deal with Microsoft for their IP.


According to the South China Morning Post, "High-flying Chinese smartphone supplier Xiaomi is bulking up on its patents for smoother international expansion by forming a partnership with software giant Microsoft, the company said Wednesday.


Xiaomi said it had purchased nearly 1,500 technology patents from Microsoft covering the fields of video, cloud technology and wireless communication.


Microsoft transferred to Xiaomi patents to help ease the firm's operations in new markets, according to a spokesman from Microsoft.


"Xiaomi is looking to build sustainable, long-term partnerships with global technology leaders," said Wang Xiang, senior vice president at Xiaomi, who leads its supply chain and intellectual property teams.


Faced with declining smartphone sales at home, Xiaomi is trying expand to other countries, including India and the US."


If Hugo Barra's forecast comes to fruition, then Xiaomi is likely to land in the US sometime in 2017.   


In a Microsoft press release they stated that "Microsoft Corp. and Xiaomi Inc. have expanded their global partnership to provide innovative user experiences on mobile devices. As part of the agreement, Xiaomi will ship Microsoft Office and Skype on Xiaomi Android smartphones and tablets. As a result, tens of millions of consumers and business customers in China, India and around the world will have new ways to work, collaborate and communicate. The companies’ new collaboration also includes a cross-license and patent transfer agreement.    


Beginning in September 2016, Xiaomi Android devices, including Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3 and Redmi 3, will come pre-installed with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype applications. Specific offerings may vary by device, market and mobile operator. This agreement builds on the companies’ partnership with Windows 10 on Mi Pad and Microsoft Azure powering the Mi Cloud service."


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