(Adds Samsung comment in paragraph 4)
By Dan Levine
Aug 1 Microsoft Corp sued Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd on Friday, claiming the South
Korean smartphone maker refused to make a royalty payment last
fall on patent licenses after Microsoft announced its intention
to acquire Nokia's handset business.
The Microsoft lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan federal court,
seeks monetary recovery from Samsung but does not publicly
disclose the amount in dispute.
In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft deputy general counsel
David Howard wrote that Microsoft "values and respects our
partnership" with Samsung, but differs with Samsung over how to
interpret the licensing agreement.
"Unfortunately, even partners sometimes disagree," Howard
wrote. In a statement, Samsung said it will review the complaint
"in detail" and determine an appropriate response.
Microsoft is trying to compete in the mobile market with
products that run on Google Inc's Android operating
system. As part of that landscape, Microsoft has tried to raise
the costs for Android handset makers by convincing them to pay
Microsoft patent royalties.
Most large handset makers, such as Samsung, LG
and HTC, have agreed to pay. Motorola is one of the
main holdouts, and that company has been in litigation against
Microsoft since 2010.
Samsung made its royalty payments to Microsoft during the
first fiscal year after they signed their 2011 agreement, the
lawsuit said. However after Microsoft announced the Nokia deal
last year, Samsung initially refused to make another payment,
the lawsuit said.
In refusing to pay Microsoft, Samsung argued the Nokia deal
breached its licensing agreement with Microsoft, the lawsuit
said. Samsung eventually paid Microsoft late, the lawsuit said,
but has refused to pay interest.
Samsung also claims smartphone products sold by Microsoft
after the Nokia deal are not covered by the licensing deal, the
lawsuit said. Microsoft has asked a judge to make an opposite
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New
York is Microsoft Corp vs. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, 14-6039.
(Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by David
Gregorio and Lisa Shumaker)