Microsoft Licensing Mysterious Patented Tech To HTC's Android Phones

This has come rather unexpectedly, and very early in the morning/late at night. Microsoft and HTC's relationship goes back years, but just what this new patent agreement for Android phones refers to, no-one knows. Exchange? Full Office support? UPDATED

We can continue guessing all we want, but for now Microsoft and HTC have sealed lips, merely announcing that the patent agreement for HTC's Android phones will see Microsoft license its technology, receiving royalties from HTC and more than 600 other companies it works with in a similar manner. [Microsoft]

UPDATE: While my initial cynicism made me believe this was a clever move from Microsoft to win points over Apple (in light of Apple's lawsuit against HTC for patent infringement), it appears it may not be that cut and dried. CNET is reporting that actually, HTC was also infringing on Microsoft's intellectual property, and rather than go down the same route as Apple, they've instead brokered a deal licensing their technology to HTC—for a hefty price.

REDMOND, Wash. - April 27, 2010 - Microsoft Corp. and HTC Corp. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for HTC's mobile phones running the Android mobile platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties from HTC.

The agreement expands HTC's long-standing business relationship with Microsoft.

"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," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. "We are pleased to continue our collaboration with HTC."

Microsoft's Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property

The licensing agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 600 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft's significant research and development investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio. More information about Microsoft's licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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