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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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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.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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