Microsoft Sues Samsung for Failure to Pay Patent Royalties

Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung last Friday over claims the electronics maker stopped paying patent licensing fees it agreed to in a three year old deal. According to the lawsuit, Samsung temporarily stopped making its routine payments last fall after Microsoft purchased Nokia and is now claiming the deal constitutes a breach of contract.

Microsoft sues Samsung over late patent licensing paymentsMicrosoft sues Samsung over late patent licensing payments

Samsung agreed in 2011 to pay Microsoft licensing fees for the Android-based mobile devices is makes and sells, but decided to stop last fall. The company eventually made those payments, but is refusing to pay interest and Microsoft is hoping to get that money through legal action, according to the New York Times.

Microsoft bought Nokia's handset business in September 2013 for US$7.2 billion as part of a plan to have a stronger position in the smartphone market. The deal was finally completed in April of this year and included top Nokia executives as well as hardware and patents.

Microsoft's legal team is speculating that the Nokia deal is simply a convenient excuse for Samsung and that the real issue is that the company's Android smartphone sales have quadrupled since the 2011 patent licensing agreement was signed.

The Windows maker claimed it spent several months trying to reconcile its patent licensing deal with Samsung, but to no avail. Samsung's public statement on the lawsuit is that it will "determine the appropriate measures in response."