When we say that Microsoft is the ultimate Android patent troll, we actually mean that as high praise. While folks like Apple spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to fight Android in court battles that prove useless, Microsoft is busy making billions off of Android patent licensing agreements.
Yep... you read that right. A new report out of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), made it clear how many patents Microsoft owns which are violated by Android. Microsoft has developed licensing agreements for 310 patents which Android infringes. As it turns out, 70% of all Android devices sold in the U.S. are umbrellaed under these deals. This amounts to almost $2 Billion USD per year that Microsoft is banking for basically doing nothing but strong-arming Android manufacturers into signing these agreements.
That's a serious chunk of change, especially considering that Microsoft doesn't really use many of these patents in any actual consumer or corporate products. Of course, we have to give them credit though... profiting off of the success of your competitors is much craftier than blowing millions trying to duke it out in court.
Despite this seemingly friendlier nature of dealing with patents, we suspect Microsoft is not too thrilled that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce published their patent list.
Source: Ars Technica