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Nokia CEO and former Microsoft Executive Stephen Elop.  (Source:
B&N: Microsoft is attempting to dominate Android with "exorbitant license fees and absurd licensing restrictions"

Can't beat 'em with innovation? Then we'll do it with litigation! -- That's the tone Microsoft continues to take with Google, and, more specifically, its popular Android mobile OS. 

The latest lawsuit coming to light is one Microsoft has levied against Barnes & Noble, alleging patent infringement for B&N's use of Android on its Nook e-reader.

B&N refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement, according to Groklaw, so it’s free to air its grievances against the lawsuit -- and boy has it. 

In its response to Microsoft's complaint, B&N says that Microsoft is trying to dominate Android with "exorbitant license fees and absurd licensing restrictions," that is more than Microsoft charges for the entirety of Windows Phone 7. B&N points to the strategic partnership with Nokia as evidence of the scheme.

B&N also calls the patents Microsoft alleged it infringes "trivial, not infringed and invalid."

Here are some longer excerpts from Barnes & Noble's response:

...Microsoft has asserted patents that extend only to arbitrary, outmoded, or non-essential design features, but uses these patents to demand that every manufacturer of an Android-based mobile device take a license from Microsoft and pay exorbitant licensing fees or face protracted and expensive patent infringement litigation. The asserted patents do not have a lawful scope sufficient to control the AndroidTM Operating System as Microsoft is attempting to do, and Microsoft’s misuse of these patents directly harms both competition for and consumers of all eReaders, smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile electronic devices....

And on Nokia's involvement in the alleged scheme:

On information and belief, as part of Microsoft’s recently announced agreement with Nokia to replace Nokia’s Symbian operating system with Microsoft’s own mobile device operating system, Microsoft and Nokia discussed and apparently agreed upon a strategy for coordinated offensive use of their patents. Indeed, in videotaped remarks made two days after the Microsoft-Nokia agreement was announced, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop confirmed that Microsoft and Nokia had discussed how their combined intellectual property portfolio is “remarkably strong” and that Microsoft and Nokia intended to use this combined portfolio both defensively and offensively. This type of horizontal agreement between holders of significant patent portfolios is per se illegal under the antitrust laws, threatens competition for mobile device operating systems and is further evidence of Microsoft’s efforts to dominate and control Android and other open source operating systems.

Microsoft replied to the allegations with its own statement to Geekwire: "Our lawsuits against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec are founded upon their actions, and the issue is their infringement of our intellectual property rights. In seeking to protect our intellectual property, we are doing what any other company in our situation would do."

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RE: Business as usual
By Ilfirin on 4/28/2011 12:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
Reporting on it is all well and good.

This line, however, is just poor taste and bad reporting, showing clear bias:
"Can't beat 'em with innovation? Then we'll do it with litigation! -- That's the tone Microsoft continues to take with Google, and, more specifically, its popular Android mobile OS. "

RE: Business as usual
By Gzus666 on 4/28/2011 12:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
It is clearly what is going on, so why shouldn't they say it? Do you really think they are innovating by taking a company that has been sunk by competition (Nokia), partnering with them and then using their budget and Nokia's IP to try to fight a new "common enemy" with litigation instead of fixing their products? Worst part is they are attacking a book company over it instead of going after the maker of the OS, cause they know they can't win that fight.

RE: Business as usual
By chripuck on 4/28/2011 1:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
Oh good lord. The reason they're going after B&N is because the other companies using Android HAVE ALREADY PAID THE LICENSING FEES. They're only going after them now because of the recent FroYo update to the Nook that turns it from an eReader into a full blown tablet.

Pull your head out of your ass and think for one minute.

And by the way, you can't patent something without some sort of prototype. I know because I have looked into patenting ideas of my own.

RE: Business as usual
By Gzus666 on 4/28/2011 2:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
They are going after B&N to whittle away on Android, don't be naive.

You are a fool then, you can absolutely patent something without a working prototype. Check out the millions of patents where they send in a pretty picture and nothing more, they are granted constantly.

RE: Business as usual
By Gzus666 on 4/28/2011 2:38:31 PM , Rating: 2

There is a lawyer saying you don't need a prototype, maybe you should pull your head out of your ass for a minute, douche. If you want more links, a simple Google search returned tons. Maybe you should also get a better patent lawyer.

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