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Microsoft to skim Samsung Android takings

Royalties deal for each Google device sold

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Samsung, one of the industry's biggest Android device makers, will pay Microsoft a royalty for every handset it ships running Google's operating system.

The electronics giant will pay Microsoft as part of a licensing agreement announced Wednesday, that will also see Samsung licence Microsoft's patents with Redmond agreeing not to prosecute Samsung.

As per usual in such deals, Microsoft did not say which patents are being licensed or how much Samsung - maker of the Galaxy Tab - is paying Microsoft.

Earlier this year it was reported Microsoft and Samsung were in negotiations, with Microsoft wanting $15 per device loaded with Android. Samsung kicked it down to $10.

Announcing the Samsung deal Wednesday Microsoft wasted no time in flagging up how Motorola Mobile is the only major Android smart phone manufacturer in the US without a licence with Redmond.

Microsoft is currently in litigation with Motorola Mobile, which is being bought by Google for $12.5bn, over claimed patent violations in Android.

Samsung and HTC are the industry's two largest makes of Android-based smartphones and fondleslabs, and Microsoft boxed HTC to an identical licensing agreement in April 2010.

Between then and now Microsoft has signed up Acer, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and Wistron.

Microsoft's legal counsel Brad Smith and the corporate vice president and deputy general counsel in charge of the Microsoft intellectual property and licensing group Horacio Gutiérrez used Samsung to appeal to Motorola and claim how proves "that licensing works".

The pair said: "We recognize that some businesses and commentators - Google chief among them - have complained about the potential impact of patents on Android and software innovation. To them, we say this: look at today's announcement. If industry leaders such as Samsung and HTC can enter into these agreements, doesn't this provide a clear path forward?"

Demonstrating a firm grasp for self-fulfilling reasoning, Microsoft's executive duo reckoned a solution to the industry problem of patent litigation is now in sight. That solution is to sign a deal with Microsoft, when it's Microsoft that is one of those bringing the prosecutions or rattling the sabers. ®

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