Microsoft and Samsung sign cross-licensing patent deal

Scratching each others' backs all over the place

TODO alt text

In a tech world full of patent disputes, Microsoft and Samsung have kissed, made up and agreed a cross-licensing patent deal that will see the two companies working more closely together on Windows Phone.

We can expect to see Samsung get more involved in the development and marketing of the Windows Phone OS - and it will be interesting to see how that falls into place alongside Microsoft's existing collaboration with Nokia.

As well as working on Microsoft's burgeoning OS, Samsung will pay Microsoft royalties on each Android smartphone and tablet it sells.

TechFest

Samsung joins HTC as co-headliner of the Microsoft patent licensing festival, with Acer, ViewSonic, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, Wistron and General Dynamics Itronix filling the smaller stages, all paying Microsoft for use of its patents.

Next on Redmond's Android hit list is Motorola, which Microsoft describes as "the only major Android smartphone manufacturer in the US without a license." The two companies are currently in litigation on this point.

Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith and deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez, write: "These agreements prove that licensing works. They show what can be achieved when companies sit down and address intellectual property issues in a responsible manner."

Whether that's a swipe at Google and its refusal to license Microsoft's patents, or a jab at the Apple/Samsung spat, we don't know.

From Microsoft