If you thought the CSIRO were doing well from their patents over Wi-FI technology , see my previous blog about job cuts at the CSIRO, then you will be really impressed by the royalties Microsoft acquires from the Android Operating System.
That’s right all those Samsung mobile phones using Android mean Microsoft gets $5 every time someone buys a Samsung mobile phone and it’s estimated Microsoft gets 2 Billions dollars a year from these patents . How does Microsoft do this? Well Microsoft has never had to defend it’s patents over Android in court so it’s not entirely clear how Android infringes on Microsoft patents.
Most device manufacturers that use Android simply pay the royalty to Microsoft rather than fight Microsoft in court. but what is known is that the SD cards used in mobile phones are formatted with the FAT (File Allocation Table) file system which Microsoft holds a patent over.
The FAT file system was originally designed for floppy disks back in the days when computers did not have hard drives but was adapted when the first Winchester 10MB hard drives were introduced in 1983. Of course the file system has been updated to FAT32 since those days but one has to admire Microsoft’s ability to gouge the market with such outdated technology.