Barnes and Noble Snaps, Calls Microsoft a Patent Troll

Department of Justice gets a strongly worded letter from the bookseller

By on November 15th, 2011 10:20 GMT
Microsoft either made on too many demands, or more than one too many, as Barnes and Noble is none too happy about all its licensing complaints and demands.

This may not have been at the forefront of the patent news bulletins because of how Samsung and Apple have been hogging the attention there, but Barnes and Noble and Microsoft aren't very friendly with each other right now.

Basically, Microsoft and B&N are mostly at the point where they are ready to start on much the same road as those other two, and this is actually more of a sort of evidence for the previously hidden anti-Android campaign going on.

The point of no return in a patent litigation is when government agencies (Department of Justice in this case) start being phoned in.

This is precisely what Barnes and Noble did after what Microsoft most recently demanded, which was more than licensing fees.

Setting aside how just those fees didn't precisely sit well with the bookseller (the patent system is showing its fangs yet again), Microsoft went much further than that.

It actually wants veto power on design features and hardware requirements for whatever devices B&N wants to make in the future.

In other words, it wants B&N to pay more than it can afford on the right to make Nook devices, as well as deffer to it in regards to how it makes those electronics.

Microsoft is, essentially, trying to “use patents to drive open source software out of the market” the company says in the same letter where it describes the large IT player as a patent troll.

“Simply put, Microsoft is attempting to monopolize the mobile operating systems market and suppress competition by Android and other open source operating systems by, inter alia, demanding oppressive licensing terms directed to the entirety of Android, asserting this dominant position over Android on the basis of patents covering only trivial design choices and entering into a horizontal offensive patent agreement with Nokia,” the letter said.
B&N gets DoJ in on the action
   B&N gets DoJ in on the action
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