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Microsoft Android Patents

Microsoft Files Legal Action Against Samsung Over Android Patent Dispute 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the ready-for-a-rematch dept.
DroidJason1 writes: Microsoft has filed a contract dispute lawsuit against Samsung over what Microsoft claims is a breach of contract by Samsung involving Android patent royalties. Back in 2011, Samsung voluntarily entered into a legally binding contract with Microsoft in a cross-licensing IP agreement involving Android patents. Samsung has grown over the past few years and now believes that Microsoft's recent acquisition of Nokia nulls the agreement. Microsoft has gone to court and is asking to settle the disagreement with Samsung in order to continue the original agreement.
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Microsoft Files Legal Action Against Samsung Over Android Patent Dispute

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  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:19PM (#47585421)
    I'm no lawyer of any account, however, the Microsoft press release (by David Howard) is impeccable ... it's the first link in TFS.

    It's difficult to read it and not feel all warm and fuzzy about Microsoft and their seemingly reluctant, no other recourse lawsuit of Samsung, their dearest friend.

    I don't know who's right or wrong here, or even if that belief set enters into the equation, but Microsoft looks good out of the gate.

  • by queazocotal (915608) on Friday August 01, 2014 @08:15PM (#47586229)

    "Whether you think Microsoft's position is meritless or not, Samsung entered into a contract with them. They didn't ask a court for a legal opinion, they just stopped paying. You can't make unilateral decisions like that. "

    Err - no.
    In very rare circumstances do you ask a court to rule on a contract before anything has happened.
    Their general response will be 'dismissed, you bear court costs, that's why you pay lawyers'.
    The courts are in general not interested in offering legal advice - that's what you get expensive lawyers for.

    This is exactly how contract law normally works.
    X does something.
    Y thinks they breached their contract, and consults their lawyers who agree that X breached the contract and has no right to future payment.
    X says they diddn't, and their lawyers disagree.
    Y stops paying.
    X takes Y to court for non-payment.

    Y cannot - at the first step - in most cases ask the court for an opinion.

  • by Etherwalk (681268) on Friday August 01, 2014 @11:20PM (#47587105)

    "Samsung voluntarily entered into a legally binding contract..."

    As opposed to what, being forced to sign under threat of listening to executive Karaoke?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2014 @12:16AM (#47587271)

    That would be one sweet booby trap if Nokia management started work on those android phones post sale agreement, pre-sale completion, just to have it blow up on Microsoft as revenge for the gutting Microsoft performed on Nokia.

    It's possible, but in this instance, it's more likely just their own slimy business practices catching up with them.

    Back in April, the Chinese government released the list of 310 patents Microsoft was using to extort Android vendors. M-Cam (a global IP underwriting group) analysed the patents and found that the patents were mostly non-commercial, expired or invalid.

    They speculated that:

    ”With this disclosure, China may be attempting to counteract Microsoft’s chokehold on the smartphone market. By disclosing the detailed list of these patents, companies who currently pay a license to Microsoft for the Android platform may discover that they have patents on the same technologies which precede Microsoft’s patents. This may create an opening for them to either negotiate a better deal or demand that Microsoft license from them,” M-Cam’s report said.

    So it looks like Samsung might not only have a good case to halt payment, but may also have grounds for a countersuit to get back the money MS has already illegally extracted.

  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @09:06AM (#47588333)

    But that argument becomes a double edged sword, since M$ patent licenses cover the standardized memory card file format(oopsey - standard essential ) . So what's good for the goose is good for gander so to speak..

    "Standard essential" is not Just some arbitrary term that judges slap on a patent. The patent holder decides to agree to license their patent under FRAND in exchange for being a part of the standard. MS never tried to become part of a standard or did they agree to license the particular patent under FRAND.

Measure twice, cut once.