Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble over Nook eReader

A post titled Microsoft Alleges Android Patent Infringement by Nook eReader by Tony Bradley of PCWorld ends with the text:

Obviously, Barnes & Noble. Foxconn, and Inventec disagree that Android, or the Nook and Nook Color devices, infringe on these Microsoft patents. Otherwise, they would have already negotiated terms for licensing the patents in question.

It is interesting that Microsoft never challenges Google directly for the alleged patent infringement by its Android OS, but instead goes after the vendors that rely on it. There may be some legal intricacy I am not aware of that makes this strategy more practical. At face value, though, it seems like Microsoft is going after Google by proxy by challenging peripheral companies that lack the financial and legal might of Google.

In a later comment, Bradley writes:

Google isn't charging for Android because its open source, so there is no revenue to tap. By going after the individual vendors and manufacturers Microsoft has a source of revenue to pull the licensing fees from.

IPBiz notes Microsoft could get an injunction against Google.

Also within the Bradley article: [Horacio] Gutierrez stresses that Microsoft is not patent trolling--pointing out that this is only the seventh patent case initiated by Microsoft in its entire 36-year history.

***Mediapost.com begins:

Waging what some are calling a frivolous proxy war against Google and its Android mobile operating system, Microsoft is suing Barnes and Noble -- claiming that Android-powered Nook devices infringe on Microsoft patents. Regarding the move, TechCrunch's headline says it all: "Drunk On Licensing Fees And Patents, Microsoft Has Become A Joke." Put another way, "It's all a bunch of bullshit."

"After reading the Microsoft blog post with examples of the alleged patent infringement ... you'd think that Microsoft built the leading mobile user interface and should be the king of all things mobile," GigaOm mocks. "The reality is that Windows Mobile hasn't been able to compete with iOS nor Android." "The message Microsoft is sending here is clear," writes Fortune. "‘We've got no other way to fight Android but to litigate, no matter how silly the patents sound.'"


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