Samsung and Microsoft vs. Apple

What a difference a week makes. Last we heard Samsung sounded like they had only just begun to fight, now they've signed an agreement to cross-license and pay Microsoft a fee for every Android device they've sold, but according to the Wall Street Journal, they've also offered an olive branch to Apple as well.

It wasn't clear what benefit Apple would gain from any agreement, as details of the proposed deal were not discussed in full in front of the court. But Apple's attorney, Stephen Burley, conceded there was some potential benefit from an agreement on the matter. "(Samsung's) inconvenience would be diminished and we would be comforted" by such a deal, he said.

Microsoft's benefit was easier: money.

“Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phone and we’re investing to make that a reality,” said Andy Lees, president, Windows Phone Division, Microsoft. “Microsoft believes in a model where all our partners can grow and profit based on our platform.”

“Through the cross-licensing of our respective patent portfolios, Samsung and Microsoft can continue to bring the latest innovations to the mobile industry,” said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, executive vice president of global product strategy at Samsung’s mobile communication division. “We are pleased to build upon our long history of working together to open a new chapter of collaboration beginning with our Windows Phone “Mango” launch this fall.”

Apple doesn't want money from Android ODMs, however. They don't want to make Android more expensive. They want to stop Samsung from "copying" them in order to make it less usable -- they want what they consider to be Apple patented technology taken out.

Google called the Microsoft deal "extortion", if Samsung does come to terms agreeable to Apple, what would Google call that?

Hopefully "done". Overly violating and overly litigating patents are too extremes I for one have had about enough of. Restoring some respect and balance to the equation might just allow everyone involved to stop investing in lawyers and start re-investing on the innovation that brought us iOS, Gingerbread, and Mango.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Microsoft, TechCrunch