It is no secret that there are a good many Android OEMs who pays Microsoft a fair amount of money to license patents that go towards building their Android devices. For example companies such as HTC, Samsung, ZTE, and Huawei (just to name a few) have been reportedly paying Microsoft for Android-related patents.
Naturally this is something that OEMs can’t be too pleased about, since patent licenses do cost money and it seems a little ironic that they would be paying a company that has their own competing smartphone platform. However according to a recent report from M-Cam, a global financial institution that specializes in intellectual property and intangible assets, they believe that these OEMs could easily turn to free alternatives to free themselves from Microsoft.
The report came shortly after the Chinese Ministry of Commerce disclosed the 310 patents owned by Microsoft, which also revealed some of the patents that OEMs are licensing from the company with regards to Android devices. Based on this, M-Cam believes that OEMs can turn to free alternatives, or at least use the knowledge to renegotiate a better deal with Microsoft if their patents are absolutely essential.
According to M-Cam, “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.”
Assuming that M-Cam’s assessment is accurate, it looks like Microsoft will soon need to start finding themselves alternate streams of revenue.