Earlier, we learned that Apple was suing Amazon over the term "App Store," and now the lawsuit locomotive is continuing with a tiff between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble. Microsoft is suing B&N, Foxconn, and Inventec over alleged patent infringement involving the Nook Color. The patents in question involve tabbed navigation like in a web browser, text selection and annotation, and displaying text on a website before the background image so that users can begin reading content right away. This isn't the first time that Microsoft has gone after an Android manufacturer over patents: they sued Motorola last year and recently signed a licensing agreement with HTC.
Microsoft's been going a little wild with patent-related suits lately, and some folks think that that may be because they're feeling a bit of pressure from Android and all of its success. It's sure to be a pretty interesting suit, so stay tuned and we'll keep you updated.
Microsoft Takes Legal Action Against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec for Patent Infringement by Android Devices
Statement from Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing
REDMOND, Wash., March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today filed legal actions in the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington against Barnes & Noble, Inc. and its device manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. and Inventec Corporation, for patent infringement by their Android-based e-reader and tablet devices that are marketed under the Barnes & Noble brand.
"The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights. To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers," said Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property & Licensing. "Other vendors, including HTC, a market leader in Android smartphones, have taken a license under this program, and we have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year to bring great software products and services to market," he added.
The patents at issue cover a range of functionality embodied in Android devices that are essential to the user experience, including: natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens to find the information they need; surfing the Web more quickly, and interacting with documents and e-books.
SOURCE Microsoft Corp.