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Samsung Joins Ranks of Android Vendors Licensing Microsoft Patents 186

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bill-gates-always-wins dept.
theodp writes "GeekWire reports that Microsoft and Samsung just announced a patent licensing agreement that gives Samsung legal coverage for its use of Google's Android OS in its smartphones. Under the deal, which covers both mobile phones and tablets, Microsoft says it will receive unspecified royalties for every Android device that Samsung sells. Microsoft previously struck a similar patent deal with HTC, under which Microsoft is reportedly receiving $5 for every Android handset that HTC sells. This latest deal leaves Motorola Mobility, with which Microsoft is currently in litigation, as the only major Android smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. without a license to Microsoft's patent portfolio."
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Samsung Joins Ranks of Android Vendors Licensing Microsoft Patents

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  • Extortion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cmdr_klarg (629569) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:20AM (#37540224)

    Legalized extortion is what this is. Patent reform is needed, and needed sooner rather than later.

  • by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:27AM (#37540296) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft invented the file system used by many Android-powered devices to store data on SD cards, including a major enhancement released in 1995 that allowed file names to exceed the 8.3 limitation of early versions of this file system. This enhancement, commonly called "VFAT", is patented.
  • Modus Operandi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deweyhewson (1323623) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:27AM (#37540302)

    This is nothing more than a legalized protection racket.

    Microsoft has made claims for years to own the patents on various aspects of Linux (which Android is built on), making only vague references and never specifying what exactly it owns. It then uses this to strongarm companies using Linux into paying them royalties.

    The best part is that, unlike illegal protection rackets, this one is entirely supported by the broken patent (and legal) system we have today.

  • Re:Extortion (Score:2, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:34AM (#37540408)

    They already have too. Copying code would be copyright violation. Patents protect the entire idea of the solution.

  • Re:Modus Operandi (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @12:08PM (#37540860)

    Samsung also sells Microsoft-running devices.

    "Would be a shame if you didn't get the same 'discount' on your Microsoft OS licenses that all your competitors do"...

  • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @12:14PM (#37540956)

    Microsoft invented...

    No, they did not. There are very, very few real inventions that can be attributed to Microsoft. This is not one of them. VFAT is an "invention" in the same vain as a janitor is "inventing clean" via an application of a mop and a bucket of soapy water to a floor. The term, now apparently forgotten, that once used to describe why such things are not patentable is "an obvious application of the art"

    So, as many people pointed out thousands of times:

    • 1. FAT is a copy of the earlier CP/M file system mixed with some bastard, half-assed ports of some features of UNIX file systems of the time.
    • 2. VFAT is an "obvious application of the art" and any patents on it are pure insanity that violates even the most basic premise of the whole idea of patents. But insane is what the US Patent system has become.
    • 3. The very idea of patenting software is another form of demonstrable mental retardation, a part of larger, even more dangerous to the progress of civilization and personal liberties, raving lunacy called "intellectual property".

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