Microsoft has asserted for quite some time that they own patents that are being infringed upon by the Android operating system –and has often given the suggestion that it could all be made better if licensing was in place (read: Microsoft gains a revenue stream from something other than actually innovating their own mobile products). Until now, the question we have all had, and the tech industry has enjoyed speculating over, is exactly -which- of their toes are being stepped on (meaning which patents are being used unlawfully) –an answer to which has finally been provided by the Chinese government.
As Microsoft joined the litigation fray, we saw a few of their allegations seep out –but it now appears they feel Android violates 127 different patents (such as 8,255,379 “Customer Local Search”, 5,813,013 “Representing Recurring Events”, and 6,999,047 “Locating and Tracking a User in a Wireless Network Through Environmentally Profiled Data”).
Of course, it’s not straightforward: many of the patents Microsoft lays claim to come from a package of intellectual property purchased in a $4.5-billion group bid for assets sold when Nortel collapsed (which means they are jointly owned with the others involved in the sale, including: Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony). Some were passed to individual companies from the consortium, but it’s all incredibly confusing and complicated.
Is Microsoft owed money from Android? Maybe, that will be up to the courts to inevitably decide.
Are we all terribly sick of patent-related lawsuits? Without question.
Jillian Koskie is an experienced software developer, content writer, project manager and usability design expert. With over 17 years in these roles, Jillian has enjoyed applying her skill-set to assist clients and users across a wide variety of sectors including: legal, health, and financial services. Combining these professional opportunities with a love of technology, Jillian is pleased to contribute articles, opinions, and advice to numerous news outlets, websites, and publications.