Foxconn chief Terry Gou responds to Microsoft patent lawsuit
Billionaire Terry Gou responded with outrage to a low-key Microsoft patent lawsuit, accusing the software giant of a personal attack against him and his company.
The chairman of Foxconn Technology Group -- whose listed arm Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. assembles the iPhone -- called an ad-hoc media conference Tuesday to rail at his US adversary. Gou, a well-known personality in Taiwan, proceeded to rip Microsoft apart for a "wrongful" attempt to extract royalties on Android software by going after FIH Mobile Ltd., his company that makes phones for Huawei Technologies Co., Xiaomi Corp. and other vendors.
Gou is no stranger to patent lawsuits. In 2017, Qualcomm sued unsuccessfully to force contract manufacturers such as Foxconn to pay royalties on patents used in iPhones. The billionaire however kept a low-profile throughout that case, which involved Apple Inc. -- by far Foxconn's biggest customer.
"Microsoft is falling behind in the smartphone era faced with the rise of Android so now it is adopting such a bad strategy," Gou told reporters Tuesday. "I really sympathize with them."
Microsoft is claiming in its suit that it's merely trying to enforce contractual commitments from a 2013 agreement with Hon Hai. "Microsoft takes its own contractual commitments seriously and we expect other companies to do the same," it said in an emailed statement.
Calvin Chih, chief executive officer of FIH, said contracts bar his company from paying on behalf of customers if they are not told by clients to do so.