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Microsoft and Samsung Resolve Dispute over Android Devices

AndroidMicrosoft and Samsung have finally ended their dispute after six months. Microsoft had sued Samsung for violating terms of a patent licensing agreement. It claimed that Samsung had failed to make timely royalty payments related to their patent licensing deal and had withheld interest payments stemming from the delay.

For quite some time now, Microsoft has claimed that the Android operating system violates a number of its patents. According to Microsoft, Android infringes many Microsoft patents that were obtained by Microsoft in the US and elsewhere well before Google launched it. However, instead of exercising its legal right to stop Android -based devices from using that technology, Microsoft had decided to license its patent portfolio to companies that use the operating system.

Samsung is one of the largest companies that make mobile devices based on the Android software. In response, Samsung claimed that Microsoft’s acquisition of the mobile handset business of Nokia also violated the patent licensing agreement between the two companies.

Microsoft is a leader in the technology industry and spends billions of dollars on research and development each year. These efforts have enabled it to have one of the largest and most valuable patent portfolios. Between 2010 and 2013, Microsoft has invested nearly $29 billion in R&D. It has more than 73,000 issued and pending patents worldwide and has entered into more than 1100 license agreements. It continues to develop licensing programs allowing customers, partners and competitors to access it patent portfolio.

The two companies had made a patent agreement in 2011. The terms stated that Samsung would pay Microsoft royalties for each Android phone it sold. Microsoft claimed in the lawsuit that Samsung owned $6.9 million in interest. While it is not known how much Samsung was supposed to pay for each device sold, it is believed that the royalty payments totaled $1 billion in 2013.

Microsoft has similar patent agreements with other companies such as HTC. The Android operating system belongs to Google but the underlying technology uses Microsoft patents.

The court case had been filed in Federal District Court in the Southern District of New York and an arbitration case had been initiated at the International Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

The case in the US court and the ICC arbitration is now resolved. Details of the terms of agreement between the two companies have not been revealed.

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