Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Apr 2010 14:31 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Yeah, we're continuing with the mobile news for now. As it turns out, there are two ways to deal with ever increasing competition. Where Apple sued HTC, Microsoft has decided to do what it does best: they're trying to extract some form of profit out of the rising popularity of Android phones. This morning, the Redmond giant announced it signed a patent licensing agreement with HTC.
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Am I missing something?
by Shakey on Wed 28th Apr 2010 15:16 UTC
Shakey
Member since:
2005-10-11

Android is developed as open-source by Google. Microsoft entered into a deal with HTC to share profits on devices running Android.

How can Microsoft make money off of Android? Or is it just sharing HTC's profits? Why would this benefit HTC?

What am I missing?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Am I missing something?
by SlackerJack on Wed 28th Apr 2010 15:28 UTC in reply to "Am I missing something?"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

From what I can see, it's if HTC use any patented technology that Microsoft have in their portfolio. If HTC do use such patented technologies, then Microsoft will receive royalties from that.

It's a more sensible way of doing business rather than suing, which is what Apple are doing.

Edited 2010-04-28 15:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Am I missing something?
by kristoph on Wed 28th Apr 2010 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Am I missing something?"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

What is interesting here is that HTC is essentially paying royalties to MIcrosoft for Android technologies. That's a bad precedent but, in fairness to HTC they probably did not want to be sued to two of the largest companies on the planet at the same time,

No doubt the Apple patent issue will be resolved in a smilliar way.

The biggest issue is for Google. If a perception develops that using Android requires paying royalties to microsoft and apple it will reduce the appeal of Android to handset manufacturers and fast.

K

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Am I missing something?
by WorknMan on Wed 28th Apr 2010 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Am I missing something?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

What is interesting here is that HTC is essentially paying royalties to MIcrosoft for Android technologies. That's a bad precedent but, in fairness to HTC they probably did not want to be sued to two of the largest companies on the planet at the same time


Sounds kind of like a schoolyard bully who demands your lunch money, else he's gonna kick your ass.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Am I missing something?
by JAlexoid on Thu 29th Apr 2010 15:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Am I missing something?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Sounds kind of like a schoolyard bully who demands your lunch money, else he's gonna kick your ass.

I hope SCOTUS decides on the Bilsky case and the rest of the world can forget this chapter of patenting software.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Am I missing something?
by Feanor on Wed 28th Apr 2010 15:48 UTC in reply to "Am I missing something?"
Feanor Member since:
2006-12-21

HTC isn't just a hardware manufacturer, they also develop Sense, which I could see having some patent issues with Microsoft's significant portfolio.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Am I missing something?
by Karitku on Thu 29th Apr 2010 06:21 UTC in reply to "Am I missing something?"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Android is developed as open-source by Google. Microsoft entered into a deal with HTC to share profits on devices running Android. How can Microsoft make money off of Android? Or is it just sharing HTC's profits? Why would this benefit HTC? What am I missing?

It works like this. Microsoft doesn't care if Google puts there stuff in Android as long as it's free. But ones phone makers make money on selling Android devices Microsoft wants it part. This makes sense in alot of levels. Firstly it doesn't cripple free coding and secondly hobbyist can still tinker around Android freely. It's lot better than Apple system where they just want to get rid competition by not allowing to use at all.

Reply Score: 2

Here we go again
by viator on Wed 28th Apr 2010 15:57 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

Same thing that happened to novell and xandros etc etc.
MS threatens company with lawsuit (read billions of dollars) Offers company sweetheart deal to license said patent (that it really DOESNT own)Comapny caves and takes "deal" MS is extorting money from these companies with threats this is no different than what the mafia does. Until these companies grow some balls and say put up or shut up this will CONTINUE to happen. But the first company that does this will cause MS house of cards to come crashing down this SICKENS ME! Now im reluctant to buy an htc phone why should i reward MS for android/htc success?

Reply Score: 1

not always pragmatic
by REM2000 on Wed 28th Apr 2010 15:58 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

I think tomtom will attest to that with the FAT32 problems they had. They eventually managed to solve it, but all companies use patents in a bad way most of the time.

Reply Score: 2

RE: not always pragmatic
by lemur2 on Thu 29th Apr 2010 01:19 UTC in reply to "not always pragmatic"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I think tomtom will attest to that with the FAT32 problems they had. They eventually managed to solve it, but all companies use patents in a bad way most of the time.


TomTom could have used a Linux kernel that did not violate Microsoft's FAT patents (which, BTW, is not a patent for FAT itself, but rather a patent for a method of writing both a long filename (LFN) and a short filename (the old 8.3 style filename) for the same file on a FAT32 filesystem).

See here:
http://www.osnews.com/permalink?421336

However, Microsoft probably offered TomTom a deal such that it was far easier, quicker and cheaper to settle out of court with Microsoft rather than take this to court.

I'd imagine that most of these issues are similar. Linux doesn't infringe but it is easier and cheaper to settle with Microsoft out of court than it would be to take it to court.

Reply Score: 2

the most dangerous part
by niemau on Wed 28th Apr 2010 16:34 UTC
niemau
Member since:
2007-06-28

the most ridiculous part is that whenever these MS linux patent licensing deals rear their ugly heads, specific patent infringements are nearly never made public, making it impossible to work around their supposed IP.

it's ridiculous that it's being allowed to happen over and over again.

Edited 2010-04-28 16:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: the most dangerous part
by vivainio on Wed 28th Apr 2010 20:39 UTC in reply to "the most dangerous part"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

the most ridiculous part is that whenever these MS linux patent licensing deals rear their ugly heads, specific patent infringements are nearly never made public, making it impossible to work around their supposed IP.


Also, everytime these shenanigans are pulled, we see statements like this:

“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with HTC.”

Whenever lawyers are "pleased", it means someone is getting screwed badly. This time it appears to be Google.

Reply Score: 2

Here's the clue...
by mrhasbean on Wed 28th Apr 2010 18:03 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

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


The likely conversation (paraphrased ;) ):

Microsoft: Hey HTC, you guys have built Windows Mobile products in the past haven't you? You'd like to do that again at some stage I gather?

HTC: Well, yer, sure.

Microsoft: So it wouldn't look good if we were suing you for infringing our IP then would it?

HTC: Umm, I suppose not.

Microsoft: Ok, we have an understanding then...

HTC have a vested interest in coming to an agreement with Microsoft, they don't with Apple. So please, believe the PR spin as you seem to do with everything Microsoft, but don't try to again make it look like something it isn't. It's business. Nothing more, nothing less. Just like Adobe and Google being in bed is business. And just like Apple these companies will put whatever spin on it they want to make it look positive in the media. None are any better than the others.

At least there are many posters here who can see the logic of that.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Here's the clue...
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 28th Apr 2010 18:08 UTC in reply to "Here's the clue..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

At least there are many posters here who can see the logic of that.


I see you are once again busy ignoring the stuff I actually write in favour of whatever ghosts roam around in your head.

What part of "However, considering the US patent system, these Microsoft patents probably won't be any better than the mostly software-related patents Apple is using to sue HTC. Worse yet, this opens the door for Microsoft to strong-arm other Android phone makers into similar deals - potentially scaring OEMs away from using Android." is part of "the PR spin" I'm supposedly "believ[ing] as [i] seem to do with everything Microsoft"? Once again, you are talking out of your ass solely to discredit me - all because I have the audacity to dislike Apple's business practices.

I see you are continuing your smear campaign. Noted.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Here's the clue...
by Windows Sucks on Thu 29th Apr 2010 00:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's the clue..."
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Update: Microsoft deputy general counsel of intellectual property Horacio Gutierrez just sent us a statement saying that the company's been "talking to several device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform." We're taking that to mean the same as above: Microsoft isn't too interested in suing any of its Windows Mobile / Windows Phone partners, so it's trying to work out patent license deals with those companies in advance of any nastiness. It's an interesting strategy: patents forbid anyone from making, using, or selling your invention, so Redmond can protect its partners while still leaving open the possibility of a lawsuit with Google itself down the line. In fact, we'd almost say it seems like Microsoft's agreement with HTC is as much of a threat to Google as Apple's lawsuit -- Redmond's basically saying you can't sell an Android device without paying a license fee, and we'd bet those fees are real close to the Windows Phone 7 license fee. Clever, clever -- we'll see how this one plays out. Here's Horacio's full statement:

Microsoft has a decades-long record of investment in software platforms. As a result, we have built a significant patent portfolio in this field, and we have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to ensure that competitors do not free ride on our innovations. We have also consistently taken a proactive approach to licensing to resolve IP infringement by other companies, and have been talking with several device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by viator
by viator on Wed 28th Apr 2010 18:42 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

The only way i see keeping android free in the future
is for google to sell phones themselves.

They could start by buying palm

or could buy HTC and back out of the deal and tell MS to shove it.

If i was google i would do BOTH!!

Reply Score: 1

JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

Microsoft entered into some agreement in regards to Microsoft's patents that they own and have a right to license out: this in no way means that Microsoft has any connection with Apple and their patents whatsoever in this matter, and anything stating that Apple patents are involved is baseless speculation, period.

There's nothing (unless the patents are revealed, and there's contention as to whether Microsoft and Apple have patented the same thing) to indicate this helps HTC or Google at all in regards to the Apple situation, or harms Apple at all: Microsoft patents are neither here nor there for Apple's purposes, and Apple's patents (as long as Microsoft neither licenses them or infringes on them) are neither here nor there for Microsoft's purposes.

This would be a much more meaningful story if the patents in question were explicitly listed, and it was revealed who is currently licensing them or thought to be infringing on them currently: that's not available, so there's nothing to see here in regards to Apple or Google that's clear cut or even an educated guess that makes any sense.

Reply Score: 2

This is Android Specific
by Jezza on Thu 29th Apr 2010 05:44 UTC
Jezza
Member since:
2005-10-13

I can't understand all the second guessing here... The announcement is perfectly clear. Microsoft will receive royalties for every Android handset sold. This has nothing to do with Apple or WM7, it is about making profit from Linux... just like the deal with Novell and the deal with Amazon.

What I really can't understand, though, is why if nobody believes there are patents in Linux that MS owns, the Linux foundation (don't they own the Trademark on Linux) don't sue MS for libel and slander and defamation of character or whatever the business version of this is.

Reply Score: 1

RE: This is Android Specific
by japh on Thu 29th Apr 2010 07:09 UTC in reply to "This is Android Specific"
japh Member since:
2005-11-11


What I really can't understand, though, is why if nobody believes there are patents in Linux that MS owns, the Linux foundation (don't they own the Trademark on Linux) don't sue MS for libel and slander and defamation of character or whatever the business version of this is.


Because most people are probably pretty sure that Linux is in fact has parts that are covered by patents. Considering how broad patents are granted and how obvious things are being patented, I'd say that not infringing on any Microsoft patent would be really hard.

Even when those patents are not good, you probably don't want to take on one of the largest lawyer armies in the world to try to prove that.

It doesn't matter if you're right if you have to forfeit because you run out of money. I'm sure Microsoft would like nothing better than to bankrupt the Linux foundation while still not showing a list of all the patents Ballmer talked about.

Reply Score: 1

RE: This is Android Specific
by niemau on Thu 29th Apr 2010 15:02 UTC in reply to "This is Android Specific"
niemau Member since:
2007-06-28

it is about making profit from Linux... just like the deal with Novell and the deal with Amazon.


no, it isn't. any profit is just icing on the cake. these actions are designed to deter businesses from choosing a linux-based platform over a MS platform and furthermore to drive an ideological wedge into the FOSS community.

Reply Score: 3

Google should Partner with Nokia and Adobe
by dindin on Thu 29th Apr 2010 12:59 UTC
dindin
Member since:
2006-03-29

Google should partner with Nokia and Adobe and pool their significant patent portfolios. Given that Nokia is going OpenSource, it fits well with googles OpenPlatform philosophies. Adobe brings a lot of UI and middleware stack (and they need to clean up their Flash lineup).

Reply Score: 2

ariarinen Member since:
2009-02-07

Google should partner with Nokia and Adobe and pool their significant patent portfolios. Given that Nokia is going OpenSource, it fits well with googles OpenPlatform philosophies. Adobe brings a lot of UI and middleware stack (and they need to clean up their Flash lineup).

I don't see a point in such a pool, first of all Nokia and Google are going head to head in many areas.

Nokia going Open source is a completely separate issue, it has more to do with cost. And their patent portfolio brings in cash and reduces licensing cost, and they spend so much on R&D that it wouldn't make much sense to pool it.

Its best if everyone place nice and license what they need.

Reply Score: 1

MS as a patent troll
by siki_miki on Fri 30th Apr 2010 14:14 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

i.e. if you can't beat oponnents, sue them. HTC was an easy target, already struck by a heavy Apple lawsuit. Also being a foreign company doesn't help if they get scrutinized by zealous US judges who view them as thiefs of American inventions.

I will probably remain an isolated case, just like Novell.

Reply Score: 2