Microsoft has just announced its biggest ever Android-related patent deal with Samsung. In this contract, Microsoft will get a royalty payment on every Android smartphone and tablet that Samsung sells. And, what exactly is Samsung paying for and how much are they actually paying? We don’t know.
Horacio Gutierrez, vice president of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, smiling all the way to the bank, said in a statement that “We are always looking for new opportunities to work collaboratively within the industry, and Samsung was a natural fit, particularly because of its leadership in the rapidly changing world of digital media technologies. That’s another way of saying that Microsoft has managed to scare yet another company into paying them off for some unknown and untested patents.
On Twitter, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, triumphantly tweeted, “Today’s agreement demonstrates we now have a clear path forward for resolving the industry’s mobile patent issues” and “While we haven’t yet reached the beginning of the end of mobile patent issues, perhaps we have now reached the end of the beginning.” So, yeah, if you’re idea of a clear path ahead is to pay off Microsoft, and other major companies like Apple, than we indeed have a way forward.