4. Microsoft Sues Android Device Makers
Taking the position that Google's Android mobile operating system infringes on a number of its patents, Microsoft was busy in 2011 negotiating licensing pacts with manufacturers of Android-powered devices – and suing those who refused to pay up.
Microsoft sued bookseller Barnes & Noble, whose Nook e-reader runs on Android, as well as Nook manufacturers Foxconn and Inventec, charging them with infringing on a number of Microsoft patents. Microsoft also continued to pursue a lawsuit against Motorola Mobility, which is in the process of being acquired by Android developer Google, charging that Motorola's Android-based smartphones and tablets also violate Microsoft patents. Microsoft, meanwhile, reportedly collected millions of dollars in royalties from a handful of Android device manufacturers it had struck deals with, including HTC, ViewSonic, and Acer. In September Microsoft inked an extensive patent licensing deal with Samsung and the software company was reported to be holding similar talks with Chinese manufacturer Huawei.