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Samsung may pay as much as $10 per Android handset sold to Microsoft, in order to protect itself against Apple.  (Source: Cell Phone Blog)
Licensing fee could give Samsung extra legal ammo against Apple

Microsoft (MSFT) and South Korea's Samsung Electronics (SEO:005930) are reportedly engrossed in intense intellectual property licensing negotiations.  The talks bring to mind the old adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

While Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform competes with Android, both platforms share a common enemy -- Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  As Apple tries to fend off Android, it has turned to multiple lawsuits, first suing [1][2] Taiwan's HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) (the top Android phone maker at the time) and then suing Samsung (currently the top Android phone maker).

As both Samsung and HTC are also WP7 handset makers, it behooves Microsoft on multiple levels to defend these quasi-rivals.  To that end, Microsoft entered into a patent licensing agreement with HTC last year.  HTC agreed to give Microsoft a fee for every Android handset sold.  In exchange it received the use of Microsoft's IP, which has proved a useful shield to hold back Apple's legal harassment.

Samsung, which has a sizable IP catalog of its own, may opt for a similar deal.  The current sticking point is the licensing fee.  Microsoft wants $15 USD per Android handset sold.  Samsung, reportedly, is willing to agree to around $10 USD per handset.

If the pair can reach an agreement, Samsung could use its new resources to further defend itself against Apple in court.  That would be good news for U.S. customers, who could lose access to Samsung's Android lineup if Apple succeeds in blocking imports from the Asian gadget maker.

Samsung will soon become the world's largest phone maker, passing Microsoft's Finnish ally, Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V).  The company is expected by analysts to have sold 3 million units of the Galaxy S II since its late April debut, helping propel the company to total estimated sales of 19 million units in calendar Q2 2011.

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RE: anyone else notice....
By theapparition on 7/6/2011 4:08:02 PM , Rating: 5
Please educate yourself before you speak any more.

Apple does hold a design patent on the look of the iPhone.

Anyone can get a design patent for their product. It does protect the holder from competitors making so similar looking products that the consumers could be deceived.

But requirements for design patents are so low, that they are easily overturned. All it takes is prior art. There are easily 100's of designs that all predate the iPhone and Prada that are black rectangles with screens and buttons. Palm PDA's from the early 2000 come to mind. Plenty of WinMo devices.

Forget your pro Apple crusade. I guarantee that no PI will be issued against Samsung. Your fanboyish tone is as pointless as those who "truely believed" that the iPhone had to desist sales because Cisco owned the iPhone trademark. Please.

This is just Apple posturing itself against the many Samsung lawsuits it has against it. Pretty soon, a settlement will be met which allows them to share IP. That's it.

In fact, the worst thing Apple could do would be to defend it's design patent in court. They'd probably lose.

RE: anyone else notice....
By Fracture on 7/7/2011 10:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, their patent basically covers the utilitarian definitiion of a smartphone, including color, shape, and placement of buttons.

A similar analogy would be if I were to patent square or rectangular, brown-colored wood tables that have 4 legs on the underside.

Utilitarian objects cannot be patented. Fashion designs cannot be patented. I can't see how this isn't the fashion aspect of a piece of technology.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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