Microsoft claims Android steps on its patents

Microsoft Licensing Mysterious Patented Tech To HTC's Android Phones

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.

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.”

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.

“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,” Gutierrez said.

Press Release

HTC LICENCES MICROSOFT PATENTS

EDMOND, 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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Via Cnet