As I have said in the past (please consider: Why Microsoft Will Dominate The Smartphone Space: Its Android OS Cash Cow), Microsoft (MSFT) is making more money from the Android OS than Google (GOOG) is. In fact, Microsoft is literally milking the entire Android manufacturer community worldwide, be it smartphones or tablets.
As a reminder, Microsoft has been receiving licensing revenue for the use of its technology from 18 Android manufacturers (hat tip to the Foss Patents blog):
June 29, 2011: Microsoft and Velocity Micro, Inc., Sign Patent Agreement Covering Android-Based Devices
June 30, 2011: Microsoft and Onkyo Corp. Sign Patent Agreement Covering Android-Based Tablets
July 5, 2011: Microsoft and Wistron Sign Patent Agreement
September 8, 2011: Microsoft and ViewSonic Sign Patent Agreement
July 9, 2012: Microsoft and Aluratek Inc. Sign Patent Agreement Covering Android and Chrome Based Devices
December 11, 2012: Microsoft and EINS Sign Android Patent Agreement
December 11, 2012: Microsoft and Hoeft & Wessel AG Sign Patent Agreement
The question is, is there anyone missing? The answer is yes, Google and Motorola (MSI). And the reason why Google and Motorola are missing from this list, is because Google refuses to give Microsoft one cent in royalties for anything.
Please recall that in 2012 The United States International Trade Commission ordered an import ban against all Android-based Motorola Mobility devices that infringe on Microsoft patents, affirming a previous December 2011 decision by the United States International Trade Commission.
So why do Motorola devices continue to be sold (imported) in the U.S.? Well, according to Microsoft, because U.S. Customs officials refuse to carry out the trade agency's ruling to block imports of Motorola devices. And as such (for anyone following), last month Microsoft sued U.S. Customs for refusing to carry out the ban.
If we see a ban on Motorola devices in the future remains to be seen, however the issue of a ban is no longer relevant -- at least as far as Google's Moto X smartphone is concerned. See, with Google making Android devices in Texas from now on, the fight between both companies is not a United States International Trade Commission issue anymore.
So one question is, can Microsoft restrict Google from making the Moto X on U.S. Soil, if it still refuses to pay Microsoft its due? I don't know, but it is a possibility. And obviously Google will probably pay up rather than be forced to stop production of the Moto X.
Finally, I am not a legal patent expert, however if Microsoft has so many agreements with so many device manufacturers that have all agreed to pay licensing fees, I think that alone sets enough of a precedent for Google to do the same.
So one way or another, Microsoft will probably add to its Android milking collection the biggest of all Android fish, Google itself.
In a funny kind of way, Google's Android platform is helping Microsoft pay for the cost of developing WP8 and for subsidizing Nokia also. With competitors like these, who needs licensing partners?