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Microsoft Signs Android Patent Deal With HTC 174

Posted by timothy
from the patent-hook-or-patent-crook dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft and HTC have signed a patent deal that will provide broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for HTC's mobile phones running the Android mobile platform. The announcement comes in the wake of a massive patent suit from Apple, which alleged 20 instances of patent infringement on the part of HTC."
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Microsoft Signs Android Patent Deal With HTC

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  • oooh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Monkey-Man2000 (603495) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:36PM (#32018896)
    This sounds like there's potential for a knock-down-drag-out fight between Microsoft/HTC and Apple (and tangentially Google). Should be good. I'll cook the popcorn...
  • Too weird (Score:1, Interesting)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:36PM (#32018898)

    This is a weird world we're living in. Microsoft is offering patent protection to an open source product to counter lawsuits by Apple, thereby increasing the viability of the open source platform to spite Apple's own platform, even though Microsoft also has a competing platform.

    Well, I guess I still hate Apple, so.. go Microsoft!

  • The big picture. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:52PM (#32019110)

    As Engadget points out (or maybe just theorizes), the licencing fee for android patents is about the same as the regular licence fee for Windows Mobile (aka Windows Phone 7), thereby making it a wash for phone developers.

    They're really just trying to level the playing field (in a shitty way).
    -Taylor

  • Re:oooh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dadioflex (854298) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:57PM (#32019172)
    Hmm. It's not like Microsoft and HTC have formed some sort of coalition. HTC cut a deal with Microsoft to avoid ANOTHER drag out fight, this time over potential/perceived infringement of MS IP. MS won't be going up against Apple because of this.
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:58PM (#32019200)
    Here I thought Google was going to stand behind the manufacturers who were supporting Android. I wonder where they went when Microsoft called HTC?...
  • Re:Too weird (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gr8Apes (679165) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @03:01PM (#32019254)

    Or, this could just be a move by MS to slow down Apple taking down Android, thus leaving only those lovely W7 mobile phones as fish in the barrel of Apples new iphone shotgun this summer.

  • Re:I smell EVIL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by izomiac (815208) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @03:06PM (#32019338) Homepage
    I smell Microsoft making a money grab since HTC likely doesn't want to fight more than one major corporation in a patent war at the same time. So the royalties are probably a bit less than what said patent war would cost, and Microsoft gets a cut from the Android pie. It also hurts the iPhone slightly, which probably helps Microsoft.
  • by lophophore (4087) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:11PM (#32020626) Homepage

    I looked at as much press as I could find about this, and I cannot find anything that says exactly what IP Android infringes on. I smell a rat.

    Has anybody seen anything that names the protected IP? What is it in Android that infringes on Microsoft's IP? And if Android does infringe, why aren't they going after Motorola?

    More Linux FUD from Microsoft and friends.

  • Re:Too weird (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Flavio (12072) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:39PM (#32021208)

    Other OEMs that don't make similar deals may get sued by MS for using Android.

    I believe this is pure speculation on your part, because MS made no indication that it intends to sue hardware manufacturers because of software patents (Android related or not!). My understanding is that Microsoft is not a patent troll. Microsoft completely understands that software patents are a minefield, and use their large portfolio for protective purposes against companies like Apple.

    In my opinion, Microsoft's move has the following intent:

    1) It ensures that HTC can manufacture Windows Phone 7 phones (or whatever they will be called). HTC is not only Microsoft's largest partner in mobile phones, but they make handsets with the fastest hardware (which WP7 will probably need to run Office smoothly). It would be a disaster for Microsoft if HTC was forced to remove features from their products because of Apple's lawsuit, especially with WP7 being so close to being launched.

    2) It practically guarantees that Apple will not be successful with its patent trolling against HTC (Nokia is on their own, but their portfolio is already huge). If Apple had even some degree of success, they would've been encouraged to pursue further legal action using software patents.

    3) MS capitalizes on Android's success.

    I believe the motivation for OEMs to license patents from Microsoft actually comes from Apple, and not from Microsoft. So from my perspective, it looks like Apple's attempts at intimidation have backfired.

  • Re:oooh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Flambergius (55153) * on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:14PM (#32021844)

    I don't pretend to know what "broad coverage" means, but if MS wanted to fight Apple, doing via open source proxy would be an ideal way to do it. HTC does the fighting and MS provides the ammunition. All the risks are with HTC and MS is at least partly insulated from bad press it would get in a direct confrontation with Apple. And the situation could be very bad for Apple: they are going after an open source platform, with all the bad press that going to bring on them, but they are also going against one the most intimidating patent portfolios there is, and one of the few companies with a war chest to match theirs, and they would have a lot to lose, while MS doesn't.

  • Re:oooh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob Y. (110975) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @06:53PM (#32023350)

    It worked well enough with SCO. It delayed Linux acceptance enough and for long enough for Win7 to come out. Some would argue (I wouldn't) that the linux desktop window of opportunity is now closed.

    It worked (in another form of delaying tactic) to kill the netbook. You don't even see netbooks advertised much these days, and those you do see are more expensive than they used to be (presumably because Win7 starter isn't essentially free like XP was).

    If MS can hold back Android long enough for Windows Mobile 2 to come out - that's the most MS can hope for. Worth a few million bucks to them easily. Evil, but it is a workable strategy.

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