Xiaomi Mi 5 white (front)

Xiaomi buys 1,500 patents from Microsoft in landmark deal

In what is arguably one of the biggest tech industry stories in recent years, Microsoft has agreed to sell 1,500 of its patents to Xiaomi. The deal could potentially see Xiaomi, which has the biggest smartphone market share in its domestic market of China, launch a significant international expansion.

Xiaomi’s purchase of the Microsoft patents could allow the Chinese company to launch smartphones in a number of markets around the world, including Europe and the United States.

Although Xiaomi does sell smartphones in India, in addition to selling the popular Mi Band activity tracker in numerous countries across the globe, its international activity is still relatively limited.

Despite its strong position within the Chinese market, Xiaomi has not pushed for a significant global presence so far, reportedly due to fears that doing so could leave it exposed to patent infringement claims.

In addition to the Microsoft deal, Xiaomi has confirmed that it has filed 3,700 patents in the past year. With a substantial patent library, Xiaomi would be better able to proactively deter legal threats, as well as defend itself if any cases do end up in court.

[via Reuters]