Say what you want: GPL works. The Alternative for Samsung would have been to lose all rights to distribute Android.
So, how do you think this would have gone with a non-copyleft license?
Besides: GPLv2 already contains an implicit patent grant, so Samsung had better work this out — with the explicit GPL release (GPLv2 or later), they are obliged to ensure that downstream recipients aren’t restricted - as long as Samsung distributes the code¹. See http://en.swpat.org/wiki/GPLv2_and_patents
¹: For Samsung this would at least be damage-minimization (of their own infringement): If Microsoft starts the patent-war, Samsung won’t lose the right to all GPL code in Linux, just the right to distribute this part (and the code is officially out).