Microsoft today today filed legal actions in the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington against Barnes & Noble and its device manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings and Inventec 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. "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," he added.
Microsoft says that 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.
Specifically, Microsoft says the Nook e-reader steps on patented technology for opening a separate window to help make navigating content easier. The company also says it has patents for easily selecting and annotating text and for loading Web pages quickly.