Microsoft: Google's Android system may infringe patents
Microsoft Corp., the world's biggest software maker, is demanding patent royalties from makers of mobile phones that use Google Inc.'s Android operating system.
HTC Corp., which makes Google's Nexus One mobile phone, has agreed to pay under a patent licensing agreement, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a statement yesterday without disclosing the amount. Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. also make mobile devices using Google's Android.
The statement mentioned that Microsoft began its IP licensing program in December 2003, and now has more than 600 licensing agreements. Marshall C. Phelps, former vice president for IP and licensing at International Business Machines Corp. joined Microsoft that year with an eye to expanding the firm's patenting and licensing activities.
Microsoft has been talking "with several device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform," Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's deputy general counsel for intellectual property and licensing, said in an e- mailed statement without naming the companies involved.
HTC, based in Taoyuan, Taiwan, also makes phones that run on Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system. Mountain View, California-based Google, owner of the world's most popular search engine, offers Android for free, seeking to make money from mobile advertising in searches and other applications.