updated 09:30 pm EST, Tue November 23, 2010
HTC and Samsung deal with Intellectual Ventures
HTC today joined earlier sign-up Samsung in reaching a deal with Intellectual Ventures in a move meant to gird itself against patent lawsuits from rival smartphone makers. The agreements give both companies access to 30,000 patents and other intellectual property assets to "reduce [the] risk of litigation." Neither phone designer disclosed the terms, which for Samsung were reached last week.
Many of the largest phone manufacturers have been engaged in lawsuits that have ostensibly been over copied technology but have increasingly been used primarily to slow competitors or profit from their success. Apple sued HTC in what's widely believed to be a proxy fight against Google to slow down Android. HTC has also been pressured into a licensing deal with Microsoft for Android-related patents that Microsoft allegedly owns but which won't be tested in court until Motorola defends itself. Microsoft has been targeting every phone designer that uses Android but hasn't volunteered to make a significant number of Windows Phone 7 devices.
Samsung has been relatively safe from major lawsuits and shipped some early Windows Phone 7 devices, but the popularity of the Galaxy S line and an otherwise Android-heavy focus may draw attention from Apple and Microsoft. Both Samsung and HTC face uncertain threats from Oracle, which sued Google directly over Android's Java-like Dalvik engine.
Neither agreement is expected to directly affect existing lawsuits against HTC as they target different patents. [via TechFlash]