Samsung seems destined to remain embroiled in patent litigation forever. On top of the Apple-Samsung patent wars fought in courtrooms across the world, it’s now time for the Microsoft-Samsung patent wars, and Microsoft has sued Samsung on Friday in the U.S. over patent royalties. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
According to Microsoft’s complaint, Samsung refused to make a royalty payment after Microsoft revealed that it was acquiring Nokia’s business in handsets.
David Howard, the Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft posted on the company’s official blog on Friday, “Today’s legal action is simply to enforce our contract with Samsung… We don’t take lightly filing a legal action, especially against a company with which we’ve enjoyed a long and productive partnership. Unfortunately, even partners sometimes disagree.”
Microsoft claims that Samsung had voluntarily entered into a legally binding contract with Microsoft to cross-license intellectual property. The company admitted that Samsung had been complying with the contract and paying to use the patents of Microsoft. And Microsoft also claims that since Samsung entered into the agreement its smartphone sales have quadrupled.
Howard says Samsung decided to stop paying royalties to Microsoft using Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services business as an excuse to breach its contract. He commented further, “Samsung did not ask the court to decide whether the Nokia acquisition invalidated its contract with Microsoft, likely because it knew its position was meritless.”
One curious thing about Howard’s post is that in claiming the sales of Samsung had gone up after entering into the alleged agreement with Microsoft, the figures he quotes all relate to Android smartphones.
“Consider this,” says Howard, “when Samsung entered into the agreement in 2011, it shipped 82 million Android smartphones. Just three years later, it shipped 314 million Android smartphones … Samsung predicted it would be successful, but no one imagined their Android smartphone sales would increase this much.”