HTC Agrees to Pay Microsoft for Tech in Android Phones

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HTC and Microsoft have agreed to a deal where the smartphone maker will pay Big Redmond patent licensing fees for Android-based mobile phones it builds. According to Microsoft, HTC’s phones that rely on Google’s Android OS use technology that it controls.

io Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, commented “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.”

The two companies aren’t saying exactly which parts of the Android OS overlap Microsoft’s patent portfolio, nor did Microsoft hint at whether or not it might approach Google for licensing discussions, too.

The deal will likely work out well for Microsoft because it will be able to draw in more money thanks to its patent portfolio, and it will be generating revenue on competing mobile phone products. Microsoft recently introduced its Kin mobile phones, which may have a hard time competing with the popular iPhone and the current crop of Android-based smartphones including Google’s Nexus One — a phone that HTC builds exclusively for Google.

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Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I’m amazed how the obvious isn’t being stated. HTC is without any doubt Microsoft’s most important handset partner. Microsoft also knows that the phone market is not winner take all, but will remain fragmented. They’re counting on it, or WP7 would be a complete waste of energy. So why jack HTC up for licensing on Android handsets?

Hint: Microsoft won’t spend 10 seconds thinking of approaching Google for licensing discussions. Nor will it make much money from the HTC licensing deal. Stuff’s about the get interesting, as the kids say.

daemon

Maybe it has to do with ActiveSync?

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