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A Foxconn building in Taipei, Taiwan. Photo: SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images

Microsoft is suing a unit of Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn over unpaid patent royalties on the consumer devices it makes for others.

Why it matters: Microsoft has a patent license with Foxconn that calls for it to make payments for smartphones, tablets and other devices and to provide an annual audit to Microsoft. The software maker says the company has not been doing either in recent years.

Details:

  • Microsoft's suit, filed on Friday in federal court in San Jose, California, seeks to require Foxconn to produce required royalty reports, pay the royalties it owes and open its books to the court.
  • Microsoft has historically gotten significant royalties on Android-based phones and tablets from most key manufacturers.
  • In the suit, Microsoft says Foxconn submitted an inaccurate report for 2014 and issued no report and paid no royalties for 2015–2018.
  • What's not clear is why exactly Foxconn stopped making the payments and whether it was at the behest of Google or the device makers.

What they're saying: Microsoft said in a statement to Axios that it values its relationship with Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industrial Co., and is working to resolve the disagreement.

“Microsoft takes its own contractual commitments seriously and we expect other companies to do the same. This legal action is simply to exercise the reporting and audit terms of a contract we signed in 2013 with Hon Hai. Our working relationship with Hon Hai is important, and we are working to resolve our disagreement.”

A Foxconn representative was not immediately available for comment.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Sources say Beto plans Texas comeback in governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios.

Why it matters: O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

Texas doctor says he performed an abortion in violation of state law

Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas, in July 2021. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

A Texas doctor disclosed in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday that he has performed an abortion in violation of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which effectively bans the procedure after six weeks.

Why it matters: Alan Braid's op-ed is a direct disclosure that will very likely result in legal action, thereby setting it up as a potential test case for how the abortion ban will be litigated, notes the New York Times.

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.