TAIPEI (CNA) — Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of Taiwan’s manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., said on March 12 that a decision by Microsoft Corp. to bring a lawsuit against his company over patent payments was misguided and an attempt at intimidation.
On his Facebook page, Gou said Microsoft announced the lawsuit even before Hon Hai received the official court document.
“Its intent is to knock on the mountain to scare the tiger, to intimidate (us) into paying the patent protection fees without going through the legal process,” Gou wrote.
Hon Hai did not manufacture the Android products mentioned in the lawsuit so there is no infringement, he said.
According to international news reports, Microsoft is suing Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, for failing to provide biannual royalty reports and making royalty payments on time, in line with a patent agreement signed in 2013 between the two companies, which covered unspecified Android and Chrome OS devices.
At a news conference, Gou said Microsoft is a global software overlord and should have been collecting the patent fees from Google, the developer of the Android system.
He said the patent war is actually between the two American tech companies but Microsoft is using its market dominance to try to collect patent fees from assemblers like Hon Hai.
Microsoft should be trying to obtain patent licensing fees from Chinese smartphone brands like Huawei Technologies but does not dare to sue such companies amid the trade war between the United States and China, Gou said.
“Instead, Hon Hai has become a scapegoat in the China-U.S. trade war,” he said.
Gou said he will tell equity investors that Hon Hai and its subsidiary FIH Mobile Ltd. will not suffer any losses as a result of Microsoft’s legal action.
Microsoft filed the lawsuit March 8 with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, but Guo said he did not receive the notice until Tuesday morning.
By Chung Jung-feng and Frances Huang