Samsung Finally Gets in Bed with Microsoft; Signs Patent Deal

Microsoft, which is on track to make billions from patent licensing deals with Android device manufacturers, signed its biggest patent deal with Samsung today.

According to the terms of the cross-licensing deal, Microsoft will get royalty revenue for every Android smartphone or tablet that Samsung sells. Considering that Samsung is the largest Android device manufacturer, this will mean some serious cash for Microsoft.

Microsoft’s General Counsel stated:

“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. These two companies together accounted for more than half of all Android phones sold in the U.S. over the past year. That leaves Motorola Mobility, with which Microsoft is currently in litigation, as the only major Android smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. without a license.”

The exact licensing fee hasn’t been revealed, but it should be around $10.

The way things are going, it seems very likely that Microsoft will continue to make much more money off Android than it will by selling Windows Phone 7 licenses. It now has deals with Samsung, HTC, Acer, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and some more.

With the cross-licensing deal, Samsung may also get access to some patents which it can use to defend itself against Apple’s lawsuits.

This leads us to wonder if Google’s Motorola acquisition was worth anything at all. Almost all of its device partners have already signed deals with Microsoft.

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