Microsoft Suggests Android Violates Its Patents... But Gets HTC To Buy A License
from the say-what-now? dept
Seems a bit strange, right? Why should Microsoft have any say in whether or not HTC can put Google's Android operating system on its phones. The whole thing seems even odder when you realize that HTC was, for a long time, one of the major makers of smartphones running Windows Mobile operating system. But, the complicating factor here might be Apple. Apple, of course, famously went on the patent offensive and sued HTC over its Android phones a couple months ago. So now, with Microsoft doing this deal, it seems to very publicly be entering the patent fight between Apple and Google, which for bizarre reasons is playing out with HTC as the pawn getting bounced around between them all.
Of course, Microsoft's press announcement on this particular deal is hilarious in how disingenuous it is:
The licensing agreement with HTC underscores the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem.Uh, no. It underscores the exact opposite. It underscores just how totally screwed up the smartphone market is because of the absolutely ridiculous patent thicket that's been built up around pretty much everything that goes into a smartphone. This deal doesn't show "the important role IP plays." It shows how a big company that has nothing whatsoever to do with a particular fight can suddenly throw its weight around on the topic in an attempt to cause confusion in the marketplace and potentially scare off competitors. It's the exact opposite of what the patent system is supposed to do.