Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

7 responses to “HTC to Pay Microsoft Royalties on Android Due to Patents”

  1. KW

    I applauded Microsoft in protecting its intellectual properties. Does this not mean that Google Nexus One is also in violation?

  2. JJ

    So in the end the best OS -android really belongs to microsoft? What is this world coming to? What exactly is android using that belongs to microsoft? Microsoft is just mad that Android is whooping up on them. This will probably make me choose android over winphone7. Unbelievable!

  3. KW

    Some have reasons I find interesting when comes to buying a product. For me, I buy the one that works best for me. I don’t look at its make or its underlying technology.

    The smartphone segment is too saturated with vendors. It’s not hard to infringe the existing patents. The other issue is that this can’t be good to carriers, device makers and consumers. Customers get confused when they walk into a store and see the many choices. My guess is that there oughta be some consolidation in the work soon.

  4. Christopher Price

    JJ, Microsoft is not arguing that the code in Android belongs to Microsoft. They are arguing that Android uses protected ideas that Microsoft has reserved in the form of patents.

    This is a long-running tactic by Microsoft in fighting Linux. Microsoft argues, much like SCO did, that they can sue practically anyone and everyone that uses Linux… if they want to.

    But, rather than choosing to have their day in court, Microsoft is instead asking companies to pay royalties. In doing so, Microsoft agrees to not sue them for infringing on their patents.

    The GNU GPLv3 makes additional protections against this tactic, arguing that any sort of patent licensing deal of this nature must extend to everyone worldwide. As such, Microsoft is only applying this to GPLv2 or earlier licenses. Since Android does not contain any GPLv3 code however, Microsoft legally can do this.

    It’s up to companies to decide if they want to risk a patent infringement lawsuit from Microsoft down the road, or hope that some other company (like Google) confronts them on this with their massive legal warchest.

    Considering HTC is such a close partner with Microsoft, the terms of this deal were probably favorable to HTC. I suspect HTC is not paying a significant amount of money to Microsoft for Android… likely a small fraction of even a Windows Mobile license per device.

  5. Christopher Price

    While I didn’t touch on this, I also wanted to clarify that there may be another angle here.

    Apple is suing HTC for patent infringement. By licensing Microsoft’s patents, HTC could argue that Apple doesn’t have first-invention rights and that Microsoft’s patents take priority.

    I am skeptical of that flying in court, which in turn makes me skeptical of the theory. It’s not clear that any of Microsoft’s patents are confronting Apple’s patents. Even if they are, Apple clearly has claims to certain IP that Microsoft didn’t patent. So, while it may give some partial coverage or support in Apple’s lawsuit, I don’t think it’s a winning tactic.

  6. F1

    There is greed,and then there is Microsoft, setting a higher standard !

    Thank You

  7. SaltyDawg

    I don’t even know what to think about this.

    Google needs to step up to the plate. If Apple and Microsoft are both claiming Google’s OS uses patents without permission, and Apple and Microsoft are both going after phone manufacturers because of it, then Google needs to step up and take responsibility.