As part of the Microsoft purchase and merger process of the Nokia Devices group, Chinese regulators have released the once-secret list of patents used by Microsoft in order to force Android OEMs into licensing agreements in order to avoid litigation from the conglomerate as part of a larger list of 310 total patents held by the conglomerate involving its products and mobile technology.
The fact that the patent list has been revealed through foreign regulator filings suggests that international regulators are taking a stricter approach to the Microsoft-Nokia acquisition, while Microsoft has insisted in the past that the patents were valid and the licensing deals were also valid, the patents have been previously reported to net Microsoft up to $2 billion in additional revenue per year before taking into account any additional revenue from other products.
As Microsoft has struggled to succeed in mobile following the transition from Windows Mobile into Windows Phone, the patent licensing agreements have been seen by many as a way for the conglomerate to make money from mobile while it continues its struggles and many others see the licensing agreements as a form of extortion. Another list revealed focuses on the patents that are directly related to Microsoft developed products and technologies and their relation to the Android patents being claimed by Microsoft, while the main patent list reveals that of the 310 patents, 73 are standards essential patents and 127 of the 310 are currently implemented in Android, according to Microsoft.
For its part, Microsoft is refusing to comment on the revelations, pointing all press that make inquiries about the patent lists to an April 8th blog post regarding patent transparency, suggesting that Microsoft never expected the lists to become public information, nor were they prepared to comment on the scope of the list compared to their previous claims of patent transparency. With the revelation of the patent lists, this puts Microsoft in the awkward position of having to justify its behavior towards Android OEMs while simultaneously hosting a new division of the company that produces Android smartphones for developing markets.