Microsoft has decided that Android, that pesky OS by Google, is a little bit infringe-y on its own patents.

But at the same time, it has moved to protect its Taiwanese chum HTC by agreeing to license more patents to the firm.

What's interesting is the patents apply to a number of platforms, including Android, meaning should there be any litigation between Microsoft and Google, HTC would be helpfully shielded.

What, where, with who?

We're not sure where the patents lie - we assume it's in the way HTC skins the Android OS otherwise it would be paying Microsoft to use Google's products - although the patent agreement does cover the Nexus One as well.

There's another element to this argument - HTC is being sued by Apple for infringing on its patents in its Android phones, and the Microsoft deal could help it bring some additional firepower to table.

And that would mean that in helping HTC, Microsoft is indirectly helping Google (which many believe to be the real target of the HTC/Apple suit), the very firm it's accusing of infringement.

We're not at the lawsuit stage yet, but we're praying to all and sundry that this never makes it that far - this is already far too confusing.

Via CNET