Redmond, Wash. – Microsoft filed legal actions against Barnes & Noble in the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington for patent infringement over Android-based e-reader and tablet devices.
The actions also cover Barnes & Noble’s device
manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. and Inventec Corporation,
for the products marketed under the Barnes & Noble brand.
“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s
patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect
our intellectual property rights. To facilitate that we have established an
industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers,” said Horacio
Gutierrez, corporate VP and deputy general counsel for intellectual
property & licensing for Microsoft, in a prepared statement.
“Other vendors, including HTC, a market leader in Android
smartphones, have taken a license under this program, and 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,” he
The patents at issue cover a range of functionality embodied
in Android devices that are essential to the user experience, including:
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, Microsoft said.