Microsoft: Google’s Android infringes on our patented IP; signs new patent deal with HTC

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“The mobile phone wars got a more interesting late on Tuesday as Microsoft publicly asserted for the first time that Google’s Android operating system infringes on its intellectual property,” Ina Fried reports for CNET. “Microsoft has taken the position, according to those close to the company, that Android infringes on the company’s patented technology and that the infringement applies broadly in areas ranging from the user interface to the underlying operating system.”

Fried reports, “In a statement to CNET, Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said that, although Microsoft prefers to resolve intellectual property licensing issues without resorting to lawsuits, it has a responsibility to make sure that ‘competitors do not free ride on our innovations.'”

Fried reports, “His comments came as Microsoft and HTC announced they have inked a new patent deal that specifically provides the Taiwanese cell phone maker with the right to use Microsoft’s patented technologies in phones running Google’s Android operating system. Microsoft said it has been in talks with other phone makers… The pact comes as the patent battle in the cell phone space has grown more intense. Apple announced last month it was suing HTC for patent infringement. HTC is in an interesting position, being a leading maker of both Windows Mobile and Android-based devices.”

“Apple’s suit mentions HTC’s Android and Windows Mobile phones, although some observers have said that Android appears to be the focus of the suit,” Fried reports. “‘Google is really unable to protect HTC because they don’t have any portfolio of patents in this area,’ said Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney… It’s not clear to what degree, if any, the Microsoft agreement will help HTC in its battle against Apple. However, Dulaney said that is the key battle for HTC. ‘If this doesn’t in some way help HTC against Apple, frankly, I don’t think they gain much,’ Dulaney said.”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Too Hot!” for the heads up.]


  1. Smart move? Maybe…

    MS fights Android and inks deal with HTC so that HTC can build more phone models for the MS Windows Mobile 7 to keep their options open.

    However, is not Apple suing HTC? So in the end… MS cripples Android and Apple cripples MS by crippling HTC and Apple wins and everybody is happy!

    Well, Steve and I are happy! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Meanwhile, in another part of the world…

    M$: “Apple – your iPhone infringes on some of our patented technologies. Let’s cross-license and be BFFs”

    Apple: “Why don’t you get bone cancer and die in a fire on your deathbed?”

    M$: *sniff*

  3. This furthers the image problems that technology patents have – that they’re nothing more than a protection racket designed to benefit incumbents and exclude new competitors from the market.

    At the very least, technology patents (as they’re handled today) are overbroad, have too long of a lifespan, and don’t take into account whether or not the companies in question actually have products in the marketplace (resulting in vulture companies which make no products and simply sue for imagined “infringements”).

    At the other extreme, technology patents need a complete overhaul, or to be done away with entirely, so companies can get away from this unproductive, time-and-money wasting “lawsuit theater” nonsense, and focus their money and energy on actually making and supporting the products they sell.

  4. Ehhh… What kind of patent M$ is giving out?

    A giant ass keyboard that attached with the phone?

    A big stylus to operate on the phone and meanwhile let user to use that to pick on their nose?

    Gezzz… that’s M$ Innovation

  5. The new Windows 7 Phones will have 7 internal cameras a la Big Assed Table. They will track the finger gestures you make on the phone screen and avoid Apple’s multi-touch patents.

    The screen will not be backlit but the phone will be bundled with an external plug-in light so the cameras can see WTF you are doing with your fingers in the dark.

    So far the battery life is 30 minutes but they are working on bundled external battery packs as well.

  6. Hmmm…. this story sounds strikingly familiar. Where have I seen this before… where oh where…???

    Oh I remember now. Substitute SCO for Microsoft, IBM for Google, and any number of other companies that SCO was strong-arming in place of HTC. Same thing. Oh yes, how history repeats itself.

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