New York, Aug. 2 (AFP): Microsoft has sued Samsung in a US federal court, claiming the South Korean giant had breached a contract over licensing of technology used in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.
“After becoming the leading player in the worldwide smartphone market, Samsung decided late last year to stop complying with its agreement with Microsoft,” the US company’s deputy counsel said in an online post.
The complaint filed in a federal court in New York alleges Samsung is balking at making payments for patented Microsoft technology used in smartphones and tablets. “We will review the complaint in detail and determine the appropriate measures in response,” Samsung said.
Microsoft contends the South Korean consumer electronics company is not adhering to a contract from 2011 and said it filed the court action after months of “painstaking negotiation”.
The legal pact involved Samsung paying to use Microsoft’s intellectual property, according to the post by deputy counsel David Howard.
Samsung’s smartphone sales have quadrupled since the contract was signed as the company grew from shipping 82 million Android-powered handsets in 2011 to 314 million three years later, Microsoft said.
Samsung has become a smartphone goliath, and the biggest maker of handsets powered by Google’s free Android software.
“Samsung predicted it would be successful, but no one imagined their Android smartphone sales would increase this much,” Howard said.
After Microsoft made a deal last year to buy Nokia’s smartphone business, Samsung stopped abiding by the cross-licensing contract, the US company says.
Microsoft said in the filing that Samsung used the Nokia business acquisition as grounds to step away from the deal.