In a bid to put a stop to Android patent lawsuits between the two companies, Microsoft and Samsung signed a massive cross-licensing deal Wednesday. Samsung, maker of phones and tablet computers that run on the Android platform, will pay royalties to Microsoft to prevent further legal troubles.
“Together with the license agreement signed last year with HTC, today’s agreement with Samsung means that the top two Android handset manufacturers in the United States have now acquired licenses to Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, said in a blog post. “These two companies together accounted for more than half of all Android phones sold in the U.S. over the past year.”
Samsung has also said that it will use the Windows Phone 7 operating system on future devices. While Samsung and Microsoft described the deal as a partnership, Google told reporters that it thinks of Microsoft’s is engaged in nothing less than a shakedown over a free operating system it did not create.
The largest producer of Android devices with whom Microsoft has not made a cross-licensing agreement is Motorola Mobility, which Google has plans to purchase pending regulatory approval.
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