Legal trouble is brewing between two tech giants. Microsoft is suing Samsung in a battle over Android patent fees. Microsoft says the South Korean firm has failed to pay it on schedule for the use of its inventions, and it has started legal proceedings in New York, according to the BBC.
According to TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm, Samsung, like other Android manufacturers, shells out money to Microsoft for what the software company views as “stepping on its intellectual properties’ toes.” The case marks the first time that Microsoft has engaged in legal action against Samsung.
"After spending months trying to resolve our disagreement, Samsung has made clear in a series of letters and discussions that we have a fundamental disagreement as to the meaning of our contract,” wrote David Howard, Microsoft’s assistant general counsel, in a blog post. Howard acknowledged that the two companies have a long history together, and hopes that the issue will be resolved but added that Samsung had used Microsoft’s takeover of Nokia’s headset unit as an apparent ‘excuse to breach its contract.”
Censored court papers filed by Microsoft and posted online news site Geekwire indicate that the South Korean company blocked a second payment after learning that Microsoft announced its attention to buy Nokia’s assets about a year ago. Court documents show that that Samsung later paid the fee in November of 2013, Microsoft is making claims that it is still owed money to cover the interest during the period it was not paid. Further, Microsoft isn’t please that Samsung is reserving the right not to make future payments.
Adding even more fuel to the fire, Samsung is reportedly asking a Korean competition authorities to intervene to eliminate the need for future fees, according to the BBC, a matter that Microsoft says would be outside the regulator’s purview.
Furthermore, the papers suggest Samsung has threatened Microsoft with its own patent infringement claims relating to the Nokia takeover.
According to the BBC, Microsoft has never disclosed how much it makes from its Android patents, but analysts have estimated the figure is between one billion dollars and two billion annually.