Microsoft squeezes cash out of HTC to run Android

Microsoft squeezes cash out of HTC to run Android

Summary: In a move that has left me speechless, Microsoft has signed a deal with HTC that will see the handset maker pay the Redmond giant a royalty in order to be able to be able to run the Android platform on its handsets.

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In a move that has left me speechless, Microsoft has signed a deal with HTC that will see the handset maker pay the Redmond giant a royalty in order to be able to be able to run the Android platform on its handsets.

In other words, it seems that Microsoft believes that the Android platform infringes on some of its patents.

Here is what Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, had to say:

"Microsoft has a decades-long record of investment in software platforms. As a result, we have built a significant patent portfolio in this field, and we have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to ensure that competitors do not free ride on our innovations.  We have also consistently taken a proactive approach to licensing to resolve IP infringement by other companies, and have been talking with several device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform."

What we don't get, as with most of Microsoft's claims of patent infringement, are details on what these infringements are. It's a safe bet to assume that they relate in some way to the Windows Mobile platform, but beyond that it's hard to guess.

If this is an infringement that affects the Android OS, then I guess we should expect to see similar deals emerge with other Android players soon (such as Samsung, LG, Dell and so on).

But where does this leave Google? After all, if Android infringes on Microsoft patents, then Microsoft could be entitled to some of Google's cash ... and Google has deeeeeep pockets.

Stay tuned!

Topics: Hardware, HTC, Microsoft, Mobility

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67 comments
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  • Microsoft will never change

    Considering the failure that Windows Mobile is, up to 6.5 (and we did not really see 7.0 yet, apart for pretty keynotes), I wonder how they can think about charging HTC to use a mobile OS which is head and shoulders above their current one.
    atari_z
  • fyi

    fyi,

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20003602-56.html

    Looks like MS is after Android.

    But they won't be able to 'veil' their evil ways in a Non-Disclosure Agreement' with Google.

    Google will pin them in a full-Nelson and have them fully disclose which patents are ip-infringed--PUBLICALLY.

    Have fun Microsoft.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
    • From what I read in there, and other sources...

      It's more MS and HTC vs. Apple than anything else.

      Google has said little if anything, as the fight isn't over Google's Android, but rather HTC's way of implementing Android. Considering MS already licenses Apples patents in this area, the deal with HTC seems more like a helping hand for Android rather than a slap in the face.

      I think Apple is the oddball out in this fight right now, and it would likely be MS-HTC-Google pinning Apple down.

      Apple's been crying over spilled GUI's for a long time now, and they haven't managed to prove much in their favor yet. Almost all the features on the iPhone were already available in other phones before the iPhone came around, Apple just put them all together.

      At any rate, all this really is, is a giant, corporate peeing match.

      Let's pop popcorn and watch.
      ShadowGIATL
      • No, I would say this is MS practicing extortion

        and I hope in re Bilski judgement comes out soon.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_re_Bilski
        Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
        • MS is not extorting anyone - they're acting within their rights

          [i]"Extortion, outwresting, and/or exaction is a criminal offense which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person(s), entity, or institution, through coercion"[/i]
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extortion

          MS owns a broad patent portfolio which it has the legal OBLIGATION to protect. It also has the legal RIGHT to pursue those who violate its patents and gain monetary and/or property benefits from doing so (e.g. selling a product that violates a patent owned by Microsoft).

          Microsoft is doing just that - enforcing its rights to patents granted to it by the USPTO, as any patent owner should.

          If you don't like patents, take the issue up with your congress-person. Until the US government abandonds patents, deal with it.
          de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
        • Your post has very little to do with any of this...

          Moving on.
          ShadowGIATL
        • Like when the FSF sues over Linux?

          Uh huh, exactlly.
          No_Ax_to_Grind
        • totally irrelevant n/t

          N/t
          Ram U
    • FYI

      That was one of the silliest posts I've seen you make, and you've made a few.

      So you're telling us here and now you know exactly what all these patents are, so you should do us all a favor and tell us what they are.

      Taken from your statement, you're implying that you're smarter then all of these corporate and software lawyers hired by these companies.

      Have fun, guy.
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
      • It sounded to me like he's saying Microsoft knows what they are, not him.

        [b] [/b]
        AzuMao
        • Yes.

          The key here is their practice of using NDAs to keep any information regarding their ip claims from being made public.

          So, far it's been innuendo and shadow puppets from MS.

          No details on any of the purported Linux ip infringement have been made public.
          Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
          • So? What's it got to do with you?

            You do not sell a product that potentially violates one or more of Microsoft's patents.

            So it has no effect on you.
            de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
          • Following your logic.. there's nothing wrong with Hitler,

            as long as you're not Jewish.
            AzuMao
    • Google will pay and so will other IP-infringing companies out there...nt

      nt
      transposeIT
      • Oh please

        Go back to law school and stay out of the
        technical forums, please -.-
        TedKraan
      • WRONG ! !

        If challenged, Google will go to court and defend themselves and their software vigorously. I suspect they will win too.
        Sagax-
        • I don't think so.

          I don't think Google would risk the legal battle given the fact they are at
          the brink of EU to sought out active case against them. I don't say Google
          is doing wrong, but EU wants to curb successful American
          Corporations and look for every opportunity to cash.

          But until now I haven't seen Microsoft going against Linux, or FOSS, it is
          going after the vendors that sell Linux derived products or the products
          that are infringing Microsoft's assets, JMHO. Google is not selling any
          product except NexusOne and that is made by HTC, thus it is covered
          already.
          --Ram--
          Ram U
    • Hehehe..

      In that article it states:
      "competitors do not free ride on our
      innovations."

      Fun stuff, which Microsoft's innovations are
      those exactly? The whole IP infringement is one
      big FUD strategy anyways. There is no proof,
      because it never happened.

      "640kb ought to be enough for everybody." <-
      That's stuff that really happened. ;)
      TedKraan
      • Irony

        <i>"640kb ought to be enough for everybody." <-
        That's stuff that really happened</i>

        Uh...excellent example of something that "really" happened.
        KTLA
    • Have heard that stupidity for years.

      And no one has done anything but sign agreements. Deal with it.
      No_Ax_to_Grind