On September 29th Microsoft announced in a press statement a landmark agreement with Samsung 'to cross-license the patent portfolios of both companies, providing broad coverage for each company’s products'. Given the current difficulties encountered by South-Korea's top smartphone seller to launch its products quickly (if at all) on various markets all around the world notably in Germany, the Netherlands and in Australia, such an agreement will certainly provide Samsung with the necessary patent ammunition against its newfound archenemy Apple, while bringing a large amount of money in the bank accounts of the Redmond-based corporation. Well-informed Joff Wild of IAM Magazine speaks of a royalty-based deal ranging from 10$ to 15$ per android device sold. Moreover the announcement also reports the cooperation of Samsung in the development and marketing of Windows Phone, whose latest OS version called Mango received very encouraging critics.
More interesting is another piece of news published on IAM Magazine's blog which reveals that Microsoft hired Florian Mueller to conduct a research on standard-essential/FRAND-related patents. The unorthodox choice of well-known anti-software patents activist Florian Mueller to perform such a research certainly demonstrates Microsoft's keen awareness that negotiating in fair and reasonable terms with all its competitors will help the company exploiting its heavy patent porfolio at its full potential, instead of using it primarily as defensive leverage.