[Update 2] Google Takes Off The Gloves: “Microsoft’s Patent/Royalty Agreements Amount To Extortion.”

  • September 28, 2011 2:44 pm


The argument that Android is “free” became less valid today with news of a new cross-licensing agreement between Microsoft and Samsung over alleged infringing material contained in Android’s source code. From here on out Samsung will reportedly pay Microsoft an undisclosed royalty on each Samsung Android device sold. Google is obviously none too pleased, with the company’s official statement sounding a tad loaded:

“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.”

Last year Microsoft signed a similar deal with HTC.

While have no doubt there’s probably some Microsoft IP buried within Android, the same can be said the other way — and for iOS and webOS, and… See where we’re going with this? The mobile market has been ridiculously held in a stranglehold of BS IP lawsuits.

While it’s sad to see other platforms that may/may not be “stealing” IP from competitors, we’d wager it’s even more sad that Microsoft’s best weapon in the mobile market at this point is suing competitors for licensing fees and royalties instead of direct revenue from their own Windows Phone 7 platform.

Update

The royalty payments Samsung must send Microsoft’s way are being reported as high as $15 per device. Yeeeouch.

Update 2

Microsoft’s head of communications, Frank Shaw, just laid out his (non) sugarcoated views on Google’s response as stated above…

The overall reality that the mobile world (and IP law) is screwed up remains. Still, it’s in a way damn funny to watch and refreshing to see an actual person responding instead of some carbon copy PR department.

Via: TechCrunch

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