Microsoft Sues Samsung Over Dead Beat Android Royalty Payments

Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung in a Manhattan federal court on Friday, as the result of the Korean smartphone maker allegedly failing to keep up its end of a contractual agreement with regards to making royalty payments. Samsung believes that Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia, completed in April, breaches that particular agreement, while Microsoft disagrees.

In 2011, Microsoft dropped some jaws when it forced a handful of smartphone vendors to pay royalties for every Android-based device sold. Being that Android is Unix-based, and relates very little to Microsoft's own OS offerings, the fact that the Redmond firm succeeded in persuading so many vendors to oblige was nothing short of astonishing.

Microsoft's success relates to a collection of inane patents it owns - I say "inane" because it's mind-boggling that most of them were even granted, as today, what they encompass are basic computer operations. A particular favorite of mine is patent #5,778,372, "Remote retrieval and display management of electronic document with incorporated images", which refers to a Web browser showing placeholders before images load to speed up a page's loading process. #6,909,910 is another good one, with the self-explanatory title of, "Method and system for managing changes to a contact database".

Nonetheless, the law is the law, and from the information provided, it does seem that Microsoft has a good case here. We can't see the contract that was signed, nor are being told exactly how much money Samsung is going to have to shell out if Microsoft succeeds. If Microsoft does in fact succeed, though, it'll sting Samsung more than it would have originally, thanks to that lovely thing called interest.