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US: Report casts doubt over validity of Microsoft patents

 |  July 16, 2014

Microsoft is known for shrouding its patent portfolio in secrecy, though reports have emerged in recent months that suggest Microsoft makes billions of dollars a year with its licensing agreements through Android. Now, reports say, new revelations released by financial advisor M-Cam suggest that a significant portion of Microsoft Android patents could be invalid.

M-Cam published the report on Microsoft in its Patently Obvious series and looked into China’s recent decision to publish a list of hundreds of Microsoft patents as part of its investigation into the company’s acquisition of Nokia. China’s Ministry of Commerce disclosed a list of 310 Microsoft patents last April.

”With this disclosure, China may be attempting to counteract Microsoft’s chokehold on the smartphone market. By disclosing the detailed list of these patents, companies who currently pay a license to Microsoft for the Android platform may discover that they have patents on the same technologies which precede Microsoft’s patents. This may create an opening for them to either negotiate a better deal or demand that Microsoft license from them,” M-Cam’s report said.

Further, analysis found that about one-fifth of Microsoft’s patent portfolio was directly commercially relevant.

Full content: i-Programmer

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