You may already know Microsoft has forced five Android vendors to pay royalties each time they ship a device, and is suing Motorola and Barnes & Noble in cases that claim Android steals Microsoft intellectual property.
Exactly which patents are supposedly violated by Google's Android mobile OS? Microsoft isn't revealing the details in cases settled without a lawsuit, including agreements with HTC, Velocity Micro, General Dynamics, Onkyo, and Wistron.
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But legal documents filed last October in the ongoing case against Motorola and in March of this year against Barnes & Noble detail more than a dozen patents Microsoft claims that Android devices violate. Let's take a look first at a Microsoft complaint filed Oct. 1, 2010, with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which describes nine patents Motorola allegedly infringes upon.
Patents 5,579,517 and 5,758,352, issued in 1996, "relate to implementing both long and short filenames in the same file system," Microsoft says. The complaint goes on to mention the FAT16 file system used by MS-DOS and early versions of Windows.
Microsoft claims the Motorola Droid 2, the Droid X, and numerous other Motorola Android phones violate these and other patents.
Next on the list is U.S. Patent No. 6,621,746, which was issued in 2003 and relates to a monitoring system that determines when to erase data from flash memory devices.
Microsoft's patent 6,826,762 from 2004 covers APIs related to cellular technology, including one that lets applications "issue commands without needing knowledge of the cellular telephone's underlying radio structure and without needing specific knowledge of the radio network's specific commands."
More patents include: