An announcement has just come from Microsoft that they have now a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung. They have made a deal with Samsung that they will pay per-device royalties for mobile phones, tablets running Android. In total Microsoft has eight cross-licensing agreements with companies that use Android. These companies are: Acer, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic, Wistron, HTC and Samsung.
Microsoft was quoted to have said about this agreement:
“It gives both companies greater patent coverage relating to each other’s technologies, and opens the door to a deeper partnership in the development of new phones for the Windows Phone platform”.
Does this mean that Ssmsung will be focused more on Windows Phone in the future? As quoted from their press release it stated that Samsung and Microsoft have agreed to cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone. Florian Mueller, a patent expert, described this as the most improtant Android intellectual property deal, also adding:
“If Samsung truly believed that Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility was going to be helpful to the Android ecosystem at large, it would have waited until that deal is closed before concluding the license agreement with Microsoft. But Samsung probably knows it can’t rely on Google. It decided to address Android’s intellectual property issues on its own.”
Samsung has 28,000 patents in the U.S. and more that 100,000 patents around the world. We are wondering why Microsoft has not targeted Apple’s iOS with its patents so far, which has lead us to think that maybe Oracle, Microsoft and Apple are working together to derail Android. We are sitting and waiting to see how all of this works out for all the companies.
HTC and Samsung account for more that half of all Android devices in the U.S., and as we know that Microsoft signed up HTC for patent protection last year. This leaves only one other major Android smartphone manufacturer which is Motorola Mobility. We have reason to think that Microsoft is currently working in litigation. Microsoft has been reported to be making more money off these patent deals that it is actually making off licensing its Windows Phone software. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel has been quoted on his blog post to say:
“We recognize that some businesses and commentators – Google chief among them – have complained about the potential impact of patents on Android and software innovation. To them, we say this: look at today’s announcement. If industry leaders such as Samsung and HTC can enter into these agreements, doesn’t this provide a clear path forward?”
Stay tuned for more news .