HTC and Samsung have two things in common: they both do Windows Phone 7 as well as Android. Due to their Android engagement, both manufacturers have recently found themselves on the receiving end of patent action by Apple.
In response, both of them have ganged up with a “parent management” company which owns 30000 patents of its own. HTC states the following:
HTC Corporation and Intellectual Ventures™ (IV) today announced they have entered into a long-term licensing agreement and strategic alliance. With the agreement, HTC is receiving rights under IV’s patent portfolio, and will have access to IV’s vast portfolio of more than 30,000 IP assets to defend itself and its subsidiaries from potential litigation.
Samsung has issued a similar, but less direct statement re their licensing deal.
This deal is a sign that the mobile patent wars (aka Apple vs the rest of the world) are now considered a real threat by mobile phone manufacturers. Keep in mind that these deals will cost both companies millions for the next 20 or more years (aka until the patents expire).
However, the risk and cost of the deal is perceived to be less of an issue than dealing with Apple in court – let’s see if Apple can be deterred by that threat…