HTC To Pay Royalties To Microsoft For Android Patent Infringements

Guess what? Starting today, Microsoft will "receive royalties from HTC." 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 first.

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.

Horacio Gutierrez, 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.