While a number of Android device manufacturers have recently joined hands with Google to smoke the patent peace pipe, others continue to do battle in courts around the world to protect innovation (not really) or save money on cross-licensing agreements (that’s the one).
Sooner or later though, the vast majority of these disputes are settled behind closed doors, so why not just start there? In its ongoing efforts to rise from domestic glory to global relevance, China-based Xiaomi didn’t take long to reach a mutually beneficial deal with Microsoft last year, followed by a similarly high-profile Nokia “business collaboration” today.
Nokia, mind you, is largely focused on the telecommunications infrastructure industry after offloading its once mighty mobile phone division and letting HMD Global use its name for a new line of enticing smart and “dumb” products.
The Finnish tech outfit is also interested in health-centric wearables after killing off the Withings brand, as well as virtual reality “applications” and, above all, conserving, expanding and capitalizing on a rich library of intellectual property.
That’s where Xiaomi comes in, paying an undisclosed but no doubt generous sum of money on the rights to an unspecified number of “cellular standard essential patents.” The Chinese company has also straight-up acquired some “patent assets” from Nokia, additionally securing “network infrastructure equipment designed to deliver the high capacity, low power requirements expected by large web providers and datacenter operators.”
Last but not least, the new partners have agreed to “explore opportunities for further cooperation, in areas such as Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.”
What does this all mean in terms of consumer devices? Hard to say with any semblance of precision, but Xiaomi may have just moved one step closer to a proper US smartphone launch. Also, we’re excited to hear more about these two’s joint AR, VR and AI projects.