"there may be some merit to them"
Not necessarily. Sometimes it is easier to just pay the money.
The problem with patents is that they stand until overthrown by the courts. That means MS could easily block the import of HTC, or whatever, devices until the courts have determined the matter. This could take years. By the time it gets resolved, it is too late. The opportunity and the market is lost.
Far easier to just pay the protection money.
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