Today Microsoft has filed legal actions against Barnes and Noble, Foxconn, and Inventec for patent infringement on Android-based E-reader devices. For Barnes and Noble Microsoft is referring to the Nook E-reader which uses the Android operating system. The patents which Microsoft is referring to were not listed but are said to cover a range of functionality based on the user experience, more in the way a user interacts with the device.
“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. “HTC, a market leader in Android smartphones, has taken a license under this program. 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,”
Microsoft has went further and listed the exact features contained in the Nook that infringe on Microsoft’s patents which are:
• Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs;
• Enable display of a webpage’s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;
• Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content;
• Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection; and
• Provide users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document.
Most likely this lawsuit will stop Barnes and Noble from selling their product until a settlement is reached in the case. We will keep an eye on this for more developments and keep you posted. Check out the full suit below. [Microsoft]