Microsoft, Samsung in patent licensing deal

Sep 29, 2011 - 02:12
  • Microsoft and Samsung announced an agreement on Wednesday to cross-license their patent portfolios.

WASHINGTON, Sept 29, 2011 (AFP) - Microsoft and Samsung, amid a rash of patent infringement suits by technology firms, announced an agreement on Wednesday to cross-license their patent portfolios.

The US software giant said the deal with the South Korean electronics titan provides "broad coverage for each company's products."

The Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said it will receive royalties for Samsung's mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform from Google.

Microsoft has accused Android, which is offered free to smartphone and tablet manufacturers by Google, of violating patents held by the US software giant.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet computer is powered by Android and is under attack from Apple, maker of the iPad, for patent infringement on several continents.

Apple is also involved in patent infringement lawsuits with Taiwan's HTC, which also uses Android to power its mobile devices.

Google reacted sharply to the announcement that Samsung had agreed to pay royalties to Microsoft over Android.

"This is the same tactic we've seen time and again from Microsoft," Google said in a statement.

"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," Google said.

"We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners," the Mountain View, California-based company said.

Under the agreement, Microsoft and Samsung will also cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone, Microsoft's mobile operating system.

"Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phone and we're investing to make that a reality," said Andy Lees, president of Microsoft's Windows Phone Division.

"Through the cross-licensing of our respective patent portfolios, Samsung and Microsoft can continue to bring the latest innovations to the mobile industry," said Hong Won-Pyo, Samsung's executive vice president of global product strategy.

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