Irony: Microsoft Rakes In $1 Billion A Year In Android Patent Licensing

When Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung in early August, it was strange for so many reasons. For starters, the entire suit revolved around the fact that Samsung owed interest on patent licenses that have to do with its Android-based devices. We've established time and time again that Microsoft reaping some reward from Android is a little bizarre, but what we were seeing was Microsoft risking actual dollar values leaking out. If Samsung owes $6.7 million in interest, what on earth does it pay to begin with?

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella

As it turns out, it pays roughly $1 billion annually. That's $1 billion to Microsoft because it's selling phones using an OS that Microsoft doesn't manage. That's quite the paycheck - if only the rest of us could make such easy money (my news-writing robot project isn't going so smoothly). Nonetheless, that's $1 billion from Samsung; Microsoft would also have money coming in from other large device makers that use Android as well.

Microsoft was very confident back in August that this is a case it'd win, and the company hasn't changed its tone at all. In a response to Re/code, Microsoft's Deputy General Counsel David Howard said, "We are confident that our case is strong and that we will be successful". I have a feeling he's correct, because if Samsung is willing to shell out a billion dollars annually to Microsoft to avoid patent infringement, the Redmond firm has to have one heck of a case.