Microsoft believes Android infringes on patents, HTC strikes deal

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
While Apple's patent lawsuit against HTC remains ongoing, the Taiwanese handset maker has reached a licensing agreement with Microsoft to avoid another lawsuit over its Android-powered handsets.



Microsoft announced this week that it has signed a patent agreement providing broad coverage under its patent portfolio for HTC's handsets running the Android operating system. The agreement states that Microsoft will receive royalties from HTC.



In addition to making smartphones running the Google Android mobile operating system, HTC is also the largest creator of handsets powered by Microsoft's Windows Mobile.



"HTC and Microsoft have a long history of technical and commercial collaboration, and today?s agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercial arrangements that address intellectual property," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. "We are pleased to continue our collaboration with HTC."



But while the agreement between HTC and Microsoft prevents any potential dispute between those companies, others who create Android smartphones could still be a target of the Windows maker. Ina Fried at CNet reported that Microsoft officials believe that Google's Android mobile operating system infringes on patented technology owned by the Redmond, Wash., software giant. Gutierrez provided a statement to CNet that noted Microsoft must make sure "competitors do not free ride on our innovations."



Fried noted that Microsoft, in the past, has alleged that Linux-based products infringe on its patents, and has sought licensing deals with those who make those products. Android is based on Linux, but Microsoft declined to detail which parts of the Android operating system it believes are infringing.



The agreement between HTC and Microsoft comes as HTC is facing a lawsuit from Apple over the alleged infringement of 20 iPhone-related patents. Apple specifically cited both Android and Windows Mobile phones in its lawsuit, but the complaint is largely believed to revolve around Google's Android operating system.



In March, Microsoft's future deal with HTC was foreshadowed when Brad Smith, general counsel and senior vice president with Microsoft, said that Apple's lawsuit against HTC might help sort out intellectual property issues in the mobile space. Microsoft did not formally take a side in the dispute, but said it was "not necessarily a bad thing."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft must make sure "competitors do not free ride on our innovations."



    Isn't that ALL Microsoft has ever done?
  • Reply 2 of 45
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    Microsoft announced this week that it has signed a patent agreement providing broad coverage under its patent portfolio for HTC's handsets running the Android operating system.



    Some license, others sue.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I really think Apple should buy Palm to acquire their patent portfolio.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    I really think Apple should buy Palm to acquire their patent portfolio.



    And hope Google, HTC, Dell, MS, RIM, Nokia, etc do not.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    I really think Apple should buy Palm to acquire their patent portfolio.



    I thought rumors were saying that HTC was thinking of buying Palm. I'd hate to see Apple acquire them, as the webOS is quite good. I own a Palm Pre, and I love and use it more than my iPod Touch! I don't know if Palm can survive on their own, but I'm hoping before they go they start licencing out the OS, or make it open source (it is Linux after all).
  • Reply 6 of 45
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    If it wasn´t for access to the American or European markets, would HTC even bother to care to license?



    In Asia it seems like everyone copies everyone elses IP anyway, itś only when they want to access the American and Eurpoean market that they have to play ball.



    Why do foreign countries doing business in China have to give up their IP to China?



    Anyone with Asia experience want to comment?
  • Reply 7 of 45
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    What Microsoft patents?



    "Method to fuglify the User Interface"?



    "Poorly-implemented touchscreen gesture recognition bolted onto generic hardware"?



    "Method to retain outdated interface design in order to maximize profit from partners' volume sales, facilitating embedding of head in sand"?
  • Reply 8 of 45
    So to use the Free Android operating system from Google, you now have to pay Microsoft.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    What Microsoft patents?



    "Method to fuglify the User Interface"?



    "Poorly-implemented touchscreen gesture recognition bolted onto generic hardware"?



    "Method to retain outdated interface design in order to maximize profit from partners' volume sales, facilitating embedding of head in sand"?





    Nice. Very nice.
  • Reply 10 of 45
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wally626 View Post


    So to use the Free Android operating system from Google, you now have to pay Microsoft.



    I think Google fully expected this to happen.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    I feel sort of dumb for asking this but this article is saying what?



    That Microsoft has licensed IP to HTC so that HTC can carry on making Android handsets?



    Which part of this story makes any sense for Microsoft ? Is it just the 'Android hurts Apple' angle, otherwise how can ensuring Androids perpetuation possibly benefit Microsoft?
  • Reply 12 of 45
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stevie View Post


    Some license, others sue.



    Pithy remarks do not a truth reveal.



    This is pretty much how Microsoft killed its competitors, back in the day. They made deals with manufacturers that said if you used their products you paid them, and if you used their competitors' products, you paid them too. The question for the manufacturer then changed from "Which one does my customer want?" to "Well, if I have to pay them anyway, why don't I just their stuff?"



    Do not be so nearsighted that you cannot see the menace that this kind of deal entails.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by surferfromuk View Post


    I feel sort of dumb for asking this but this article is saying what?



    That Microsoft has licensed IP to HTC so that HTC can carry on making Android handsets?



    Which part of this story makes any sense for Microsoft ? Is it just the 'Android hurts Apple' angle, otherwise how can ensuring Androids perpetuation possibly benefit Microsoft?



    Your missing the big picture. If Microsoft can scare every company shipping android to license it's patents, then they make money on every Android phone for zero effort. That is a better rate of return than doing their own phones.



    HTC likely cross-licensed Microsoft's patents to protect themselves in the Apple suit. They likely struck the deal so they could counter-sue apple. Then Microsoft doesn't even get it's hands dirty...
  • Reply 14 of 45
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stevie View Post


    Some license.



    Thereby losing competitive advantage and watering down their newly-shared technology.



    Enter Microsoft: Windows Mobile on every device possible. "User Experience"? What's that??
  • Reply 15 of 45
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post


    Your missing the big picture. If Microsoft can scare every company shipping android to license it's patents, then they make money on every Android phone for zero effort. That is a better rate of return than doing their own phones.



    HTC likely cross-licensed Microsoft's patents to protect themselves in the Apple suit. They likely struck the deal so they could counter-sue apple. Then Microsoft doesn't even get it's hands dirty...



    Well how can they counter sue Apple when there was no iPhone till Apple made one? I mean all these other me too products are all copying the iPhone OS to the teeth. How can this possibly hurt Apple?
  • Reply 16 of 45
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post


    Pithy remarks do not a truth reveal.



    This is pretty much how Microsoft killed its competitors, back in the day. They made deals with manufacturers that said if you used their products you paid them, and if you used their competitors' products, you paid them too. The question for the manufacturer then changed from "Which one does my customer want?" to "Well, if I have to pay them anyway, why don't I just their stuff?"



    Do not be so nearsighted that you cannot see the menace that this kind of deal entails.



    So when Apple sues for IP infringement, it's all good, but when MS licenses it, it's menacing?



    I'm lost....



    (Keep in mind I have no idea what I'm talking about) but when I first read about this, I thought HTC was doing this to help them in court with Apple. MS has multitouch patents, don't they? If HTC can say "No we didn't copy Apple, we just bought it from MS" then it becomes a MS vs Apple thing, which both companies know would take FOREVER. I'm sure both companies have legal teams that could stretch the ordeal to the length of a lifetime.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post


    Your missing the big picture. If Microsoft can scare every company shipping android to license it's patents, then they make money on every Android phone for zero effort. That is a better rate of return than doing their own phones.



    HTC likely cross-licensed Microsoft's patents to protect themselves in the Apple suit. They likely struck the deal so they could counter-sue apple. Then Microsoft doesn't even get it's hands dirty...



    That is dirty. Apple innovate, show everyone the way forward, everyone copies them and then all snark together to do dirty deals to try and muscle Apple out of the game. Pretty low.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post


    Your missing the big picture. If Microsoft can scare every company shipping android to license it's patents, then they make money on every Android phone for zero effort. That is a better rate of return than doing their own phones.



    Which is smart business. As many here are fond of saying that Apple is a corporation which is designed to make money.



    So, if MS can essentially make "free money" they are doing what any corporation in a capitalist system should be doing.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    Well how can they counter sue Apple when there was no iPhone till Apple made one? I mean all these other me too products are all copying the iPhone OS to the teeth. How can this possibly hurt Apple?



    No, they really aren't. Apple may have woken up these companies and showed them to get off their asses, but how is Android like iphone OS? How is WebOS? By your logic, somehow I could loosely say the iphone OS is a "me too" product product copying windows mobile or symbian...
  • Reply 20 of 45
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    iPhones will still be a better product than any Android or windows phone 7 handset out there. I used my coworkers Android Nexus one phone, I cringed in disgust navigating its various UI functions, I sighed a breath of fresh air after going back to my iPhone.
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