Patents that fuel Microsoft’s “Android tax” revealed in Chinese blog post


Microsoft(s msft) has long demanded licensing payments from Android device makers, but the identity of the relevant patents — which Microsoft uses to justify a so-called “Android tax” — has until now been something of a mystery.

The nature of those patents is now clearer, however, after the Chinese government published a list of 310 patents as part of an antitrust review into Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia.

The patents on the list, as reported by Ars Technica, cover everything from GPS features to custom search tools to browsing functions. They also include standard-essential patents, as well as ones obtained in the “Rockstar” deal, in which a consortium of Google rivals jointly bought the intellectual property of defunct Canadian telco Nortel.

While Microsoft had announced in an April blog past that the Chinese government had identified “approximately 200 patent families that are necessary to build an Android smartphone,” it did not say which ones.


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