Xiaomi Buys 1500 Patents From Microsoft

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Chinese gadget maker Xiaomi struck a deal with Microsoft to purchase around 1,500 patents from the latter for an undisclosed sum, the U.S. company announced on Wednesday. The announcement was made yesterday when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella visited Beijing.

The sale involves patents in voice communications, multimedia and cloud computing sectors, while the licensing portion include wireless communications patents as well as other technologies, including video. The deal also covers a wider partnership that includes the cross-licensing and pre-installment of Microsoft Office and Skype onto some of Xiaomi’s devices.

The move underlines Xiaomi’s efforts to acquire intellectual properties in an attempt to explore overseas business amid a saturating domestic smartphone market.

Xiaomi has been investing heavily in intellectual property over several years. Company VP Wang Xiao disclosed that they have applied for more than 3,700 patents in 2015, up from over 2,000 in 2014. In February this year, Xiaomi brought 332 U.S. patents from Intel, shortly after acquiring some wireless communication technologies from Broadcom.

For Microsoft, the move is the latest in an attempt to boost partnerships with Chinese companies. The internet giant teamed up with Chinese search engine Sogou to launch an English language search engine. Microsoft holds more than 60,000 patents, which means the patents held by Xiaomi represent a very small share of the U.S. company’s total IP pool.