Microsoft and Samsung have announced jointly that their dispute over Android royalty payments is now over. An end of the legal dispute will mean that Samsung might return to making budget Windows-powered smartphones.
Microsoft has lots of patents from its Windows OS, which the company uses offensively against Android OEMs with the goal of getting them to sign licensing agreements. Microsoft stated that over 50 percent of Android OEMs had signed deals with the company in 2013, and according to reports the company's yearly Android patent earnings are approx. $2 billion an year.
Samsung signed two contracts with Microsoft in 2011, a cross-licensing agreement and a business collaboration agreement. Samsung stopped making the payments to Microsoft post the Nokia acquisition which it said was a violation of the agreement—and withheld payments.
Microsoft took Samsung to court last year after the company stopped making per-device royalties to Microsoft for every Android product it sells. The case had revealed that in 2013 Microsoft had earned $1 billion from Samsung in the form of patent-licensing royalties.
Samsung’s Jaewan Chi, Executive Vice President and Global Legal Affairs & Compliance Team and Microsoft’s David Howard, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel have released a joint statement:
“Samsung and Microsoft are pleased to announce that they have ended their contract dispute in U.S. court as well as the ICC arbitration. Terms of the agreement are confidential.”
According to reports, Samsung's contract with Microsoft will continue but details about the payments have not been revealed. Samsung has been trying to gain back its market share by manufacturing affordable handsets.