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Microsoft, HTC Ganging Up On Apple?

Microsoft and HTC have signed a patent agreement that provides what the companies call "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." More than mere serendipity, Fast Company suggests that the deal was motivated by the allegation that HTC's smartphones violated some Microsoft patents.

"Rather than engage in messy legal battles on the matter, HTC has merely agreed to push a few dollars to MS for every Android phone it sells." (Apple is presently suing HTC for the same reason.) The deal covers all Android phones made by HTC, including Google's own-branded Nexus One. "The implication, according to Fast Company, "is that MS is aggressively protecting its IP use, and may even go after other manufacturers who make Android phones." The bigger question is how the partnership with affect Apple. The answer, according to Fast Company, is that avoiding a legal battle will speed the continued development of Android phones, which can't be a good thing for Apple.

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