Microsoft has been successfully licensing its Linux patents as of late, signing agreements with some mid-to-large Android handset makers, but today the Redmond-based company has signed its “most important Android patent license to date”, agreeing terms with Samsung.
Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs Brad Smith tweeted the news over a series of tweets, noting the deal with Samsung would not only see the company collect royalties on every Samsung smartphone and tablet running Android, it would also see “closer collaboration on Windows Phone”:
We’re announcing our most important Android patent license to date–with Samsung. Also closer collaboration on Windows Phone!
Under today’s agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running Android.
Today’s agreement demonstrates we now have a clear path forward for resolving the industry’s mobile patent issues.#clearpathforward
While we haven’t yet reached the beginning of the end of mobile patent issues, perhaps we have now reached the end of the beginning.
Microsoft followed up with a blog post on its Technet blog, noting the agreement ”also 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.”
The company also takes the opportunity to take a swipe at Google, calling the search giant out for its complaints over the impact of patents on Android and software innovation:
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?
We hope this inspires a response from Google, which has already said that its rivals, including Microsoft, have looked to target the search giant.
In July, we reported that Microsoft was reportedly pressuring Samsung to enter a patent licensing agreement where the Korean-based vendor would pay $15 for each Android smartphone it makes. Samsung apparently looked to lower the payment to $10 per handset in exchange for an alliance which would have the company benefit from the creation of new Windows Phone devices.
With the deal complete (terms still unknown), its sees Samsung not only join rivals HTC in an agreement, but would also add to deals signed with Acer, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and Wistron.