Microsoft, the tech giant has been earning profits on contractual licensing fees from the propriety Android operating system which is used by the various developers. However, this may end soon – because it seems Microsoft may not own the full rights to various patents they claim.
After the Ministry of Commerce in China disclosed 310 related patents that Microsoft holds, in order to prevent their monopoly in the system, a global financial institution by the name of M-Cam that focuses on underwriting patents went on and analyzed them. M-Cam wanted to find out whether Microsoft holds the true ownership of the patents and an astonishing outcome was found.
Within the findings it showed that only 21% of the patents were commercial patents in which the secondary developers would require to pay a license fee in order to use them legitimately.
This means that the companies that have signed Microsoft Android patent deals may have wasted their money as Microsoft has been receiving license fees in which the developers shouldn’t have paid in the first place.
Moreover, as M-Cam looked further into the commercial patents, findings have shown that more than 40 of these patents has been preceded by the developers from other companies which were not cited by Microsoft in their patent. This also means that Microsoft has been filing for patents which has already been filed and approved by the developers themselves.
Given the findings to date, M-Cam has determined that the patents which Microsoft have filed are questionable and they may not be considered as the standard essential patents which deem the developers liable to provide Microsoft a licensing fee in view of the ownership of the patent.
However, M-Cam has also reverted that they will have to conduct further analysis on the patents in question in order to provide a definitive answer.
Unfortunately for the developers, the licensing fees are currently being processed under contractual licensing and they will have to wait for the outcome from M-Cam to build a case against Microsoft.