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Microsoft take legal action against Barnes & Noble

More legal action news today, as Microsoft are targeting Barnes & Noble and their Android based Nook ereader device. They claim it violates their patents.

Microsoft have filed legal action against Barnes & Noble and manufacturers Foxconn International Holdings and Inventec.

“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights,” Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for intellectual property & Licensing said. “To facilitate that, we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers.”

Microsoft claim that Barnes & Noble have refused to participate in the program. “We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations.”

The patents in question cover a broad range of functionality – “interacting with documents and e-books” and “natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens.”

Microsoft have filed complaints against Android partners before, but generally in the smartphone sector. This is the first legal case against an e-reader manufacturer.

Microsoft have entered into more than 600 licensing agreements with companies including LG Electronics, Apple and even Nikon. These licensing deals can allow companies to form partnerships and avoid patent infringing lawsuits which can slow development and cost millions of dollars in legal bills.

KitGuru says: How Barnes & Noble react to this is as yet unknown.

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