Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble, Foxconn over alleged patent violations

Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble, Foxconn over alleged patent violations
Microsoft has sued Barnes & Noble and the large manufacturers Foxconn and Iventec this week, alleging each of the companies violates patents relating to the Android mobile operating system.

The suit revolves around the B&N Nook e-reader, which uses Android 2.1.

Says Microsoft CVP and deputy general counsel for intellectual property & licensing Horacio Gutierrez:

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.

We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements [with B&N, Foxconn, Iventec]. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations.

The patents seem very broad and include "natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens," and "interacting with documents and e-books," says eW.

Microsoft has been filing similar lawsuits for over a year, but mainly with smartphone manufacturers, like Motorola, HTC and others. In April of last year, HTC settled and agreed to pay royalties.

Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 13:40
Microsoft Android Foxconn patent B&N violation
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  • KillerBug

    Sometimes microsoft seems like a decent company; letting people hack their kinnect and everything...then they sue someone for having some of the most basic computer functions.

    It makes me sick...the patent office takes 10 years to approve a new idea for an independent inventor, by the time it is valid, the idea is usually old news and the patent cannot be enforced...yet a company like microsoft comes along and tries to patent something like, "Displaying text on a screen", and they get a patent right away.

    23.3.2011 03:44 #1

  • plazma247

    Your missing the point there is a number of these cases at the moment, the target is android as they are all os related functions, but no one will take on googles laywers and instead go after the thrid party...

    Personally i dont see how such broad patents can be taken seriously, maybe this reflects the MS projected profit from WP7 has not been as good as expected or told inside the MS camp and now they have decided to try and keep target by suing the money out of people.

    23.3.2011 07:27 #2

  • Whoisjg

    Interesting to observe Microsoft's strategy with this. It looks like Microsoft is targeting Google indirectly to avoid a direct legal showdown. I assume the smaller companies will have a hard time competing with Microsoft and could become a little shell shocked eventually steering development resources towards Android alternatives.

    Eric Corl

    24.3.2011 02:31 #3

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