"For years, Microsoft has made patent threats against
Linux. Mind you, Microsoft has never proven, or even attempted to
prove, any of these claims. That hasn't, however, stopped Microsoft
from using the threat of Linux patent lawsuit to force companies
like Amazon into paying them off. Now, Microsoft has upped the
ante. Microsoft has muscled mobile phone maker HTC into paying
Microsoft off for patents that may apply to its Google
Android-powered phones. In short, without actually proving that
Linux is violating Microsoft's patents, the Redmond giant is
'taxing' companies for using Linux.
"We don't know how much HTC is paying in royalties for these
patents. In fact, we actually don't even know what patents
Microsoft is claiming that Linux-based Android may be violating.
Both companies are hiding the specifics under a nondisclosure
"Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's deputy general counsel of
intellectual property and licensing did say in a blog though, that
"the radio stack--the functionality that allowed users to make and
receive calls … still commands the highest patent royalties,
on the order of 5% of the price the device manufacturer charges the
mobile phone operator.""