Squabble sorted: Microsoft and Samsung settle Android royalties dispute

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Microsoft and Samsung announced Monday they’ve reached an agreement over an Android-related royalties dispute that first hit the courts in August last year.

The seeds of the conflict between Microsoft and Samsung were sown back in 2010 as sales of Android devices mushroomed. The Redmond-based company claimed that Google’s Android OS infringed a number of its patents, but instead of going after the Web giant, it instead entered into licensing agreements with various tech companies making Android handsets.

The deal with Samsung was reached in 2011 and resulted in regular payments to Microsoft for every Samsung-made Android device sold. Although it was never confirmed, it’s believed the fee could’ve been anywhere between $5 and $15 per sale, so as Android grew in popularity, the deal of course turned into a nice little earner for Microsoft as its own Windows Phone platform struggled to establish itself in the market.

But following Microsoft’s announcement in 2013 that it intended to purchase Nokia’s handset business, the Seoul-based company saw a chance to challenge the deal, claiming that the proposed acquisition made it invalid. Samsung went so far as to simply stop paying the licensing fees, causing Microsoft to take the company to court.

On Monday the pair announced it’d resolved the matter, though the terms of the agreement have not been released. Still, whatever the two sides have agreed, Microsoft will surely be happy with what it got from its long-running royalties arrangement with Samsung – in 2013, for example, it picked up more than $1 billion in licensing fees from the Korean company.

[Source: Microsoft, Samsung]