As of late, Microsoft has been going after Android vendors to get royalties for each Android device that they sell. To add to its portfolio of Android vendors that it has linked patent licensing deals with, Samsung has now agreed to Microsoft's terms.
Microsoft is stating that this is the "most important Android patent license to date". As you can imagine, Samsung is one of the top players in creating Android devices and for Microsoft to be able to twist Samsung's arm into a patent licensing deal, it begins to show the power of Microsoft's patent portfolio.
Patents have been in the spotlight recently, most notably between Samsung and Apple. With these types of agreements, although this one is most likely heavily in favor for Microsoft, it does keep the court system free of patent lawsuits that usually end up with injunctions against the selling of certain products. When products are pulled from store shelves, not only is the vendor hurt, but the consumer is also faced with a fewer options as well.
Brad Smith also indicates that "while we haven't yet reached the beginning of the end of mobile patent issues, perhaps we have now reached the end of the beginning." which is an encouraging sign that possibly some of this frivolous patent disputes may be behind us, for now.