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Samsung Galaxy S II  (Source: Samsung)
You can run, but you can't hide from Microsoft's wrath

Samsung may be the latest, but it likely won't be the last when it comes to paying royalties to Microsoft. Google's Android operating system may be dominating the smartphone market -- putting it well of Apple's iOS and RIM's Blackberry OS -- but some manufacturers are paying the price via lawsuits and license agreements [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8].

Samsung is already feeling the pinch from Apple with regards to software and hardware design patents, and Microsoft just scored a nice steady stream of cash today from Samsung (estimated to be anywhere from $10 to $13 per Android handset/tablet) thanks to a new licensing agreement. 

Now, new statements from Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith suggest that the boys from Redmond are just getting started. “So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents,” said Smith to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD

Microsoft has already roped HTC into a licensing agreement (it even signed up Viewsonic and Acer), and bringing Samsung along for the ride covers a huge chunk of the Android devices on the market today. 

“I think there is a good chance we will look back at today and say this was the day that we reached a tipping point in the market,” Smith continued. 

For its part, a representative from Google blasted the agreement and questioned Microsoft's motives. The company released the following statement to TechCrunch:

This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.

After that response, Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s Head of Communications, took to Twitter to kick some dirt into Google’s eyes:

Given the statements from Smith and Shaw, it appears that Microsoft is just getting started with Android licensing agreements. Motorola had better watch its back, because the belly of the beast isn't quite full yet.



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wow
By jwcalla on 9/28/2011 6:58:39 PM , Rating: -1
Microsoft is like a leech on the world.




RE: wow
By chmilz on 9/28/2011 7:17:07 PM , Rating: 5
Patent BS aside, at least they're giving competitors the option to license. Apple is trying to monopolize the industry via product bans.

I actually side with MS on this one. They're not a patent troll. They've created an impossibly huge amount of tech to date, and the use that tech to make products. If a competitor uses that tech, the competition-friendly way to solve the problem is via licensing.


RE: wow
By sprockkets on 9/28/2011 10:19:29 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe not a patent troll, but Balmer seems to want to send the message that Linux and Android will never be free as long as he is around.

IMHO if there was any partner Google should go with, it's Motorola, since they gave the finger to Microsoft and all their patents.


RE: wow
By NellyFromMA on 9/29/2011 9:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
Linux (excluding Android) does little to nothing to chip into Microsoft market share realistically. Android generates more profits, by way of ads for Google, meanwhile the manufacturers receive nice margins based on patent violating software. You don't see the difference?

Any profits made on the paid distros of Linux are not note worthy in terms of litigation.

So, Linux is safe as long as it meaintains its 'security advantage'... that is, its obscurity in the market, much like what Apple is starting to enjoy less and less.

That's how I see it anyways.


RE: wow
By jwcalla on 9/28/2011 10:20:53 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft is trying to monopolize the industry also... they're just going about it a different way.

Most of these "patents" are just plain crap, especially if they're UI- or software-related.


RE: wow
By blueaurora on 9/29/2011 12:21:06 AM , Rating: 1
Microsoft: Your patenting it wrong!
<Apple reference for anyone like my wife who didn't get it>


RE: wow
By grebe925 on 9/29/2011 5:51:52 AM , Rating: 2
MS has created "impossible huge amount of tech"? Their MS-DOS was a rip-off, Windows was a rip-off, IE was a rip-off, MS Office was rip-off and they made their money copyrighting the computer equivalent of the placement of the brake, accelerator and clutch pedals in a car because car-makers cannot interchange them.

If anything has to have the highest bar for obtaining a patent, it should be software. Because, by it's very definition, it is meant to do different things for different people on the same underlying hardware. These patents are squelching true innovation.


RE: wow
By nocturne_81 on 9/29/2011 7:06:01 AM , Rating: 2
DOS wasn't a rip-off... it was a steal!

Gates was contracted by IBM to produce an OS.. so he went out and bought DOS for a measly $50k.

As far as the rest... you lost me there, buddy..

If you actually want to learn a bit about the patent system and the advent of software, start by looking into object code vs source code litigations -- ironically, a huge step backward for software innovation that Apple is entirely responsible for. Or really, start at the beginning by learning what's required to file a patent. Basically, you hire a lawyer who is required to do a discovery process to determine if it's legitimately original, and then pass it on to the patent office who sits on it for a few years before giving it the ol' rubber stamp without the slightest glance.


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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