Brief: Microsoft and HTC sign a patent agreement for Android phones [Yes, you read that right]

Today Microsoft has announced that it has signed a patent agreement with HTC, whereby the underdog Taiwanese firm will be paying royalty fees to Redmond. Which particular patents were not mentioned in the press release (embedded below), but the Android operating system was given a nod, which makes us wonder … does Microsoft have patents that Google is licensing?

Anyway, maybe you can see something in this text that I didn’t:

Microsoft Announces Patent Agreement With HTC

REDMOND, Wash. — April 27, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. and HTC Corp. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for HTC’s mobile phones running the Android mobile platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties from HTC.

The agreement expands HTC’s long-standing business relationship with Microsoft.

“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.”

Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property

The licensing agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 600 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant research and development investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio. More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Update: Microsoft wouldn’t go so far as to tell C|Net that Android is violating their patents, but they certainly implied that that’s most certainly the case.

  • Sohipq

    Maybe HTC is doing this to help it with it’s patent case against APPLE, or maybe not…

  • absurdsequitur

    This actually fairly common practice on Microsoft’s part nowadays… they’ve been claiming for years that Linux violates their patent, so they have bullied some linux vendors signing patent agreements… even though they’ve never really shown WHERE there are violations.

    I have no real beef against Microsoft, although I hate most of their products from a personal standpoint, but they are truly the masters of FUD.

  • Sandor

    Well since Google is fighting Redmond directly on the OS playing field with Android AND Chrome OS, it is not such a big surprise that they are starting to fight back; interesting to see that they are taking this indirect approach though :)

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