HTC Signs Patent Deal With Intertrust, Takes 20 Percent In SyncTV Subsidiary

Another development in the evolving technology patent game: HTC today becomes the latest Android handset maker to join forces withIntertrust Technologies Corporation to license the company’s patents, largely around digital rights management. Others that have agreements with Intertrust include Samsung, Motorola and Huawei.

At the same time, HTC has taking a 20 percent stake in SyncTV, a subsidiary of Intertrust, for an undisclosed amount. SyncTV is a cloud-based video service that works on a number of platforms, including Android, Windows Phone, Xbox, iOS and Internet-enabled televisions.

Intertrust is terming this as a “broad strategic technology partnership.” Although other OEMs have inked licensing deals with Intertrust in the past, this looks like the first time that one has also converted it into a deal to take a stake on one of its subsidiaries.

HTC has been building up a portfolio of content and services investments over the last year or so that potentially can be used by the company to enhance its products and set them apart from the rest of the smartphone back. They have included reports of a purchase of MOG, but also investments in Beats Audio, Saffron Digital (for more video distribution) and OnLive for cloud-based gaming.

Intertrust back in 2004 settled a suit against Microsoft over patent infringement for a one-off payment of $440 million, concluding a suit that was three years in the running.
Intertrust’s licensing deals with Samsung, Motorola and Huawei also cover other consumer electronics beyond mobile devices, including set-top boxes, computers and DVD players, Internet TVs and more — although these are areas not (yet?) explored by HTC in its product line-up.


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