Despite being a direct competitor in the mobile market, Microsoft actually owns quite a few Android patents and isn’t afraid to use them in lawsuits. The latest company to fall under Microsoft’s patent hammer is Kyocera, which allegedly infringed on some of Microsoft’s Android patents with three of its budget Android smartphones.
In a complaint (PDF) filed Friday in Seattle federal court, Microsoft claims Kyocera infringes its patents with three of Kyocera’s lower-cost Android phones. The accused models include the Duraforce, Hydro, and Brigadier. All three run the Android operating system and are “ruggedized” cell phones, meaning they include features like waterproofing and thick rubbery exteriors. Microsoft has long maintained that Android device makers must pay royalties for use of its patents. Most Android device-makers pay a royalty to Microsoft for each phone, and estimates of the Redmond company’s patent-licensing revenue ranges up to $2 billion per year. While most Android makers are paying Microsoft, one notable holdout is Motorola, which continues to fight the patent claims in court. Microsoft and Samsung recently settled a disagreement over their existing patent license.