back to article Android Patent Dispute: Microsoft, Samsung hug it out

Microsoft's patent row with Samsung over Android licensing has ended with a whimper, not a bang. Redmond has announced that the two firms are now back on speaking terms, and that no, you can't know the details. In a terse statement, Microsoft says actions both in US courts and arbitration in the International Chamber of …

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“Terms of the agreement are confidential”

So things didn't go Microsoft's way then? Their normal tactic is to demand the right to be the one who writes the press release in which they trumpet how they've been "vindicated". If all they can say is essentially "no comment", then it sounds like even the Microsoft spin doctors can't make a silk purse out of this sow's ear. That of course won't stop this forum's own "anonymous" PR comment bot from his usual waffling.

It's time that companies stop suing each other as a tactical measure to eliminate competition, and start focusing on providing goods and services that their customers want to buy. Both Microsoft and Samsung could use some improvement there.

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Re: “Terms of the agreement are confidential”

"Their normal tactic is to demand the right to be the one who writes the press release in which they trumpet how they've been "vindicated""

Only when up against a small player. When up against a company the size of Samsung, the dynamic is very different. Just as likely to be Samsung who requested the settlement be anonymous and Microsft agreed for getting the terms they wanted and avoiding further argument. We don't know because it's private and that's how they wanted it.

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Re: “Terms of the agreement are confidential”

They have never announced how much companies pay for their patents. It disrupts other negotiations.

If they come in the door with $20 per handset and you know Samsung paid $5 per handset (hypothetical figures), then you go straight to $5. If nobody knows how much the others have paid, you negotiate the best deal you can.

It is in Microsoft's best interests to annoucne a deal, but no prices, which is what they generally do - this is standard industry practice and not just with patents.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: “Terms of the agreement are confidential”

"has ended with a whimper"

The whimper being the sound of Samsung bending over and taking it presumably...

"So things didn't go Microsoft's way then?"

Microsoft were winning the legal battles, so presumably it was Samsung that folded. There is no reason to believe that Microsoft had any reason to concede anything. And best I would imagine that Samsung might have been able to negotiate a discount for a future commitment to Windows Phone...

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Another place for win10 perhaps?

Seems to me that MS maybe looking for another hardware partner to flog a Win10 handset and king of the droids Samsung would be the perfect firm to do that. So I am guessing Sammy just had to promise to say they are looking at Win10. Hell they might even bring over the ability to run droid apps on Win10.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another place for win10 perhaps?

Wouldn't be the first time, can't remember which version it was in the past but Samsung forced a big concession out of MS if they wanted them to keep making Win phones.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another place for win10 perhaps?

"Hell they might even bring over the ability to run droid apps on Win10"

BlueStacks already does that.

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Times have changed

Negotiations with MSFT used to be them saying "nice little PC business you have here, be a shame if you didn't get any OEM licenses". They even managed to do this to IBM.

Now after they had stopped laughing, Samsung's execs asked if MSFT planned on using any flash in those Surface Pro? Well you can always explain to Intel that you can't buy from anyone else ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Times have changed

> Well you can always explain to <<insert name here>> that you can't buy from anyone else ...

Even Apple had to kiss and make up over that one.

I understand they even agreed to get out of their pram and pick up their own toys.

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Re: Times have changed

Nonsense. You may not know it, but most people know, that Samsung's mobile division and Samsung's semiconductor division are totally separate. Apple apparently hasn't got any of the 900 million dollar that Samsung mobile was ordered to pay so far, but they ripped them a new one by costing them ten times more by taking all the profit in the mobile market for themselves (last quarter Apple 93%, Samsung 9%, rest -2%). And gave a little bit of cash to Samsung semiconductor which as a result is the only division of Samsung that grew profits.

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Devil

Woahhh - lemme guess what's next

So Samsungs Android sales start to tank, just as microsoft start thrashing about with their Loonier phones and whining once again about how the next version of windows will solve mankinds problems.

In other words, they really, really need someone else to make the smartphone hardware their garbage can ruin ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Woahhh - lemme guess what's next

"In other words, they really, really need someone else to make the smartphone hardware their garbage can ruin ..."

Samsung seem to be doing quite well at making them - can't see why they would need anyone else. But yes, Tizen does suck big time.

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... or maybe...

Samsung has agreed to pay the protection money to MS, so long as MS make life hell for other Android vendors.

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Anonymous Coward

I think we can guess

Samsung are going to make some windows phones that nobody wants. HTC were given a similar deal (and it almost destroyed them, as whilst they were doing it, Samsung snuck in and took over)

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I'm guessing that what happened is that Microsoft's lawyers looked the case over and said "Hey boss? If we do this we're going to lose these patents." After all Microsoft has quite a few patents that are downright laughable (my typical example being the patent on deleting files).

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sounds pretty plausible

to me too.

My favorite ludicrous MS patent, besides everyone's favorite exFAT long filenames, is "Method and System for Providing Internet Shortcut Icons on the Desktop".

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a lose lose scenario no doubt....

for consumers that is.

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Invalid patent claims

The patent claims Microsoft holds against Android vendors have for the most part prior art dating back to the 60's, 70's, and 80's ... they are bullying and Samsung managed to have them STFU - Samsung have an interest in other Android vendors paying the Microsoft bribe, though ... so non-disclosure agreement.

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