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By 22 March 2011 | Categories: news

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Microsoft is suing Barnes & Noble (B&N) along with the company’s device manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. as well as Inventec Corporation over alleged patent infringements.
 
The Redmond-based company has filed legal action at both the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington, for patent violations within B&N’s nook Android-based e-reader as well as tablet devices.
 
According to Microsoft these patents deal with a number of functions within the Android operating system (OS) such as “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.”
 
This is not the first time Microsoft has taken legal against a company utilising Google’s Android mobile OS, as it also filed a patent infringement action against Motorola last year over an alleged breach of nine Microsoft patents within Motorola’s popular Android-based smartphones.
 
Microsoft and HTC have also signed a patent agreement that sees the company providing HTC with broad coverage under its patent portfolio, for the Taiwanese manufacturer’s smartphones running on Android, in return for royalties from HTC.
 
“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights,” stated Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Intellectual Property & Licensing.
 
“To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers. 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,” Gutierrez concluded.

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