Microsoft Pacts with HTC, Eyes Android for Infringement

htc droid incredible review

Software giant Microsoft has announced it has entered into a patent agreement with Taiwanese phone maker HTC that will give broad access to Microsoft patents for phones it makes running Google’s Android platform. Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Microsoft says it will be receiving royalties from HTC as part of the deal. The agreement makes HTC the only phone maker to date that has inked a patent agreement with Microsoft for Android devices—and that may just be a sign of things to come, as Microsoft is now publicly asserting it believes Android infringes on its patents.

The agreement between Microsoft and HTC would shield HTC’s Android phones from any potential patent infringement suits Microsoft were to bring against Android devices. HTC makes the Google Nexus One phone, as well as the new HTC Incredible debuting on Verizon Wireless.

Google’s open Android platform is based on Linux but incorporates a number of mobile technologies and interface conventions. Industry insiders believe that Microsoft’s patent concerns over Android are broad, ranging from the basic operating system through user interface elements.

Microsoft has a historic tendency to announce barely-existent products or assert patent liability against products and systems that compete with its own offerings, a strategy derogatorily called “FUD”—for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The strategy is designed to dissuade manufacturers, enterprises, and customers from adopting non-Microsoft technologies for fear of future litigation or competition from the software titan. For years, Microsoft has asserted that the Linux operating system violates numerous Microsoft technology patents, but to date has yet to cite a specific instance or bring any form of complaint or litigation.

Commenting on the HTC agreement, Microsoft corporate VP and deputy general counsel for IP and licensing said in a statement, “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.”

However, speaking with CNet, Gutierrez also asserted Android infringes on Microsoft intellectual property, although the company would prefer to resolve the issue through licensing agreements rather than litigation. Microsoft’s case is apparently good enough that it has been able to convince HTC to execute a license rather than fight Microsoft on the matter.

HTC is also being sued by Apple over patents related to the iPhone; HTC says it will “fully defend itself” from Apple’s lawsuit.

Product Review

Fascinating Finney phone is crypto in a nutshell: Exciting, but also terrifying

The Sirin Labs Finney phone is to cryptocurrency what the iPhone is to Apple Pay. It facilitates the payment, processing, and exchanging of cryptocurrencies on a smartphone, and surprisingly does it in a user-friendly way.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.

The 2-year-old Nokia 6 is now being updated to Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Microsoft could be planning a laptop with foldable screen, hints patent filing

Filed in late 2017 and titled "Bendable device with Display in Movable Connection With Body," the patent filing explains a new mechanism for laptops which can eliminate a hinge and allow the screen to fold shut from the inside,

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S9: How much better is Samsung’s new flagship?

You'd naturally expect the Samsung Galaxy S10 to be better than last year's S9, but just how do the two phones differ? We break down the specs and compare Samsung's flagships in various categories to pick a winner.
Product Review

Galaxy Watch Active is the right size, no matter how big or small your wrist is

Launched among a massive array of other new products, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active could easily have been missed at Galaxy Unpacked 2019 -- which would be unfortunate. This is a sensibly designed, correctly sized smartwatch suitable for…

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e in the U.K.

The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e have all been officially announced and can be pre-ordered right now, with deliveries expected on March 8. If you're in the U.K., this is where you need to go to buy one.

Protect and style your Samsung Galaxy S10 with the best cases and covers

If you've splashed the cash for a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S10, then you'll want to take steps to protect your investment. With a metal frame and glass curves, the S10 needs some cover. Check out the best Samsung Galaxy S10 cases.

You can now pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, or S10e

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of the most-anticipated phones of the year, offering a new chipset, beautiful display, and more. Now that the phone has been announced you might be wondering where you can get it for yourself.

Sony partnership with Light aims to take smartphone photography to new heights

Smartphone photography is in its ascendancy, and a new partnership between Light and Sony hopes to lift it to new heights through the development of multi-image sensor solutions for smartphones. We spoke to Light to find out more.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Google Pixel 3: Can Samsung beat the stock Android king?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is here, offering modern specs, a beautifully high-resolution display, and an edge-to-edge design with a small cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. But can the phone take out the Google Pixel 3?

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.