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Barnes & Noble issues scathing response to Microsoft patent suit

News by Jordan Crook on Thursday April 28, 2011.

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Barnes & Noble has filed a rebuttal to Microsoft's lawsuit that alleges patent infringement in its Nook e-reader, claiming that Microsoft's agreement with Nokia to combine patent portfolios is illegal, anti-competitive, and abusive. It all started back when Microsoft filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court and the International Trade Commission claiming that Barnes & Noble, Invtentec, and Foxconn had infringed on Microsoft patents with regards to their use of Google's Android OS on the Nook. In response, Barnes & Noble has said that Microsoft has no right to claim ownership over technology it took no part in developing.

According to court documents filed by the book retailer, the company said "Microsoft did not invent, research, develop, or make available to the public mobile devices employing the Android Operating System and other open source operating systems, but nevertheless seeks to dominate something it did not invent." What's better is that these were not the final fighting words from Barnes & Noble, as the company went on the claim that Microsoft is trying to make Android "unusable and unattractive." More specifically, Barnes & Noble said, "On information and belief, Microsoft intends to take and has taken definite steps toward making competing operating systems such as the Android Operating System unusable and unattractive to both consumers and device manufacturers through exorbitant license fees and absurd licensing restrictions that bear no relation to the scope and subject matter of its own patents." After such strong words, you'd expect B&N to step back a moment and wait for a response, but instead added a final word accusing Nokia and Microsoft of agreeing on "a strategy for coordinated offensive use of their patents."

The Nook creator called the strategy "illegal under the antitrust laws," and claimed that it "threatens competition for mobile device operating systems." The bookseller even went so far as to call this lawsuit "evidence of Microsoft's efforts to dominate and control Android and other open source operating systems." This public accusation may mean that a happy ending between the companies is out of the question, not to mention the fact that Nokia has been referenced and may be provoked to enter into the legal matter. [via The Inquirer]

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