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Samsung caves in to Microsoft's Android licensing demands

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 28 Sep 2011 10:36 User comments (6)

Samsung caves in to Microsoft's Android licensing demands Samsung has become the latest company to enter into a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft for its Android devices.
Since Android has become a significant player in the smartphone market, Microsoft has threatened to sue handset vendors over a handful of mobile phone related patents. They filed a patent lawsuit against Motorola last year.

Microsoft has also made a lot of noise about supposed infringement by Android itself. For years Microsoft has claimed Linux, which Android is based on, violates a number of their patents. However, to date they have never actually said what patents they are talking about.

In the last few months several companies, including Acer, ViewSonic & HTC.

Neither Samsung or Microsoft has disclosed the terms of the new licensing agreement, although statements from both suggest part of the arrangement was a promise by Samsung to continue building Windows Phone handsets, or at least publicly affirm their support for it.

Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, executive vice president of global product strategy at Samsung's mobile communication division, said:

Through the cross-licensing of our respective patent portfolios, Samsung and Microsoft can continue to bring the latest innovations to the mobile industry. We are pleased to build upon our long history of working together to open a new chapter of collaboration beginning with our Windows Phone "Mango" launch this fall.


An announcement of support for Windows Phone may be a bigger deal for Microsoft than any royalties. Rumors about Samsung's plans to ditch Microsoft's smartphone OS after the end of next year began circulating earlier this month.

Given Samsung's current position as a top smartphone manufacturer, and arguably the hottest Android vendor, the prospect of that likely has Microsoft worried.

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6 user comments

128.9.2011 12:56

Quote:
In the last few months several companies, including Acer, ViewSonic & HTC.
What?

228.9.2011 14:03

Originally posted by Notcow:
Quote:
In the last few months several companies, including Acer, ViewSonic & HTC.
What?
I concur. This article is incomplete.

"Neither Samsung nor Microsoft ..." Corrected. (Sorry, temporarily possessed by ghost of grammar nazi. Seems to happen a lot lately. I need an exorcism )

329.9.2011 5:03

So...all I have to do is sue someone for using patents and refuse to disclose what patents I am talking about, and I can get money? Oh wait...I don't own any judges.



429.9.2011 8:55

Sorry but I don't buy this anti-Microsoft 'patent troll' angle in this.

Samsung are not some cash-staved lilly-white innocents incapable of fighting their own corner.

In the discussions leading up to this deal Samsung must have been told enough for them to know that their situation was very weak.

It's not as if Samsung have never taken anyone to court over patent infringment - in several cases over the years - themselves now is it?

530.9.2011 11:18

Originally posted by Interestx:
Sorry but I don't buy this anti-Microsoft 'patent troll' angle in this.
Ok, I'll explain it to you using SIMPLE words. Microsoft didn't have anything to do with the development of Linux or Android. Those of us who LIKE and want Android phones have to pay a premium for our phone because M$ is a bunch of greedy, suit-happy SOBs. Is that clear enough?

What surprises me is that Samsung, Acer, ViewSonic & HTC, and perhaps RedHat, Ubuntu, Suse, Debian ... don't band together in a class action lawsuit against M$ for monopolistic practices, fraud, extortion, and anything else they can tack on. Surely if enough of them banded together they would have the resources to beat Micro$quat at its own game.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Sep 2011 @ 11:20

There's no justice; there's just us.

623.2.2012 22:22

Originally posted by KillerBug:
So...all I have to do is sue someone for using patents and refuse to disclose what patents I am talking about, and I can get money? Oh wait...I don't own any judges.
My feelings exactly. They're using the power of "FUD" to extort fees from any company that wants to deploy an Android based device. I don't blame the manufacturers, as they already have untold millions tied up in a device launch. They just want to pay the fee, and move on. They tried it with the Linux community, and the Linux community basically said "Bring it on". They backed down, then. One would hope that some day, some company is able to take them on and say "Put up, or shut up". Until then, Micro$oft can continue to wave their magic threat wand at companies, and legally shake them down.

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