Microsoft Corp. is suing Samsung Electronics Co., over a missed payment on a smartphone patent contract established in 2011.
Microsoft holds patents on certain smartphone technology that is available on most Android devices. Samsung is the leading producer of Android phones, and it has had a patent contract with Microsoft since 2011 to essentially pay for these crossover services. Every time Samsung sells a phone or tablet using Microsoft’s patented technology, Microsoft gets part of the revenue.
The amount Samsung pays Microsoft per month is unknown, but according to The Wall Street Journal, the amount is estimated to be about $2 billion a year from patent fees on Android devices, across all manufacturers.
According to Microsoft, Samsung missed a payment on the contract and then refused to pay interest on that payment. Samsung said Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s mobile devices in April violated terms of the licensing contract and another business agreement.
“After becoming the leading player in the world-wide smartphone market, Samsung decided late last year to stop complying with its agreement with Microsoft,” David Howard, a Microsoft deputy general counsel, said in a company blog.
“We will review the complaint in detail and determine appropriate measures in response,” replied a Samsung spokeswoman.