In a press release earlier today, Microsoft has announced that it has filed suit against Samsung for failing to render payments under its previously signed 2011 cross-licensing agreement for Android smartphones, alleging that Samsung began to cease payments beginning September of last year once Microsoft began the purchase process for Nokia’s Devices and Services group, which was recently formally integrated into Microsoft proper in the last few weeks. Samsung signed its own patent licensing agreement with Nokia in November of last year independent of the Microsoft agreement and initially expected that agreement to remain valid until 2018.
After becoming the leading player in the worldwide smartphone market, Samsung decided late last year to stop complying with its agreement with Microsoft. In September 2013, after Microsoft announced it was acquiring the Nokia Devices and Services business, Samsung began using the acquisition as an excuse to breach its contract. Curiously, 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.
Microsoft and Samsung have a long history of collaboration. Microsoft values and respects our partnership with Samsung and expects it to continue. We are simply asking the Court to settle our disagreement, and we are confident the contract will be enforced.
The suit is being contested in U.S. District Court, in the Southern District of New York, and follows the recent revelation of the complete patent list that makes up the above agreement earlier this year during the purchase process by Microsoft. Samsung has released a terse statement to the media confirming that it will “determine appropriate measures in response”.