Guess what? Starting today, Microsoft
will "receive royalties from
." We know you're probably eying that statement and assuming
something is mistyped, but in fact, that's a direct quote from a new
Microsoft press release. As the story goes, Microsoft actually decided
recently that Google's Android
operating system infringed on some of
their patents, and obviously, that just wasn't going to fly.
Somewhat quietly, the company has seemingly informed HTC of the news,
and rather than entering into a bloody court battle that would almost
certainly end with Microsoft at the victory table, HTC has decided to
simply agree to terms and start paying up. As you know, HTC is one of
the world's most prominent phone makers to use Android, and reports
have stated that the company is in talks with several other firms who
deal in Android. It just so happens that HTC decided to fold their hand
Interestingly, Microsoft is being very low-key about what this new
patent agreement entails. We're told that it "provides broad coverage
under Microsoft's patent portfolio for HTC's mobile phones running the
Android mobile platform," but outside of that, only the companies being
questioned by Microsoft's lawyers really know. It's a little crazy that
Microsoft is able to extract royalties from more than just Google; even
though it's the software that's to blame, it seems that any hardware
maker selling a phone with Android is also being asked to pony up.
, corporate vice
president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and
Licensing at Microsoft, had this to say: "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. We are pleased to continue our collaboration with HTC."
So, now Microsoft will be making money off of Windows Phone 7 and
Android? Must be a nice position to be in. Now, if only they could find
that iPhone OS was infringing as well, they'd really hit the jackpot.