Microsoft Sues Barnes and Noble Over Android in Nook

Ryan Whitwam

It looks like Microsoft is taking the kid gloves off, and putting on the 'sue everyone gloves'. The software giant has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Seattle and the International Trade Commission alleging that Android, as implemented by Barnes and Noble in the Nook, infringes on Microsoft-held patents. This isn't Redmond's first volley against the little green robot, but it might be the start of a new trend.

According to Microsoft deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, Android, "infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect [Microsoft's] intellectual property rights." The technologies at issue relate to the way users interact with the UI. We're talking about things like web browsing, tabbed interfaces, and document viewing.

Google makes the open source Android operating system, but does not indemnify companies that use it. That means all the legal heat is on them. Microsoft last year sued Motorola, and came to a licensing deal with HTC over Android patents. If this action says anything, it's that Microsoft is not through giving Android manufacturers a hard time. Do you think MS should back off, or is this justified?

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