Barnes & Noble countersues Microsoft over Nook Color patents

Barnes & Noble countersues Microsoft over Nook Color patents
Microsoft recently sued Barnes & Noble for allegedly infringing on multiple patents with their Nook Color e-reader, powered by the Android OS. But Barnes & Noble is now countersuing, arguing that Microsoft is attempting to squeeze out competition to their Windows Phone 7 with frivolous intellectual property claims.

The countersuit says that "Microsoft is misusing these patents as part of a scheme to try to eliminate or marginalize the competition to its own Windows Phone 7 mobile device operating system posed by the open source Android operating system and other open source operating systems."

At this risk of sounding cynical, isn't that typically why large mobile companies sue one another? The field is growing so quickly, and with so much overlap and acquisitions, that it's hard to say who's misusing which patent.

But despite our cynicism, we do think that Microsoft might have to back down on this one. Particularly with their reputation for allegedly monopolistic practices, a judge might be quick to believe that the Redmond giant is unfairly putting the squeeze on 'smaller' companies.

source: eWeek



1. ConsumerX unregistered

I disagree with Barnes & Noble, although I do think the Nook Color is a great value. However, patents are simply to protect your intellectual property. In this industry, more than most, licensing agreements are common. The basic question isn't whether MS is trying to promote WP7, but, is Android really free. The simply answer is No. Google (and those using Android) should just pay for a license, and move forward. These cross-licensing fees typically do not limit innovation, nor inhibit a good product from flurishing. That said, my next phone is Android. Although I appreciate iOS for stimulating this industry, and for MS for continueing to innovate.

5. AppleFUD unregistered

You seem to have failed to understand this situation fully. MS is trying to charge B&N more for licensing fees of those patents than they charge for WP7. That's absurd! B&N is correct on this. MS is up to their old tricks.

2. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Ummm, how does MS get to sue Barnes & Noble over their use of a Google-licensed technology (Android)? I think MS should be suing Google.

3. jgcaap

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 22, 2011

Thats because the tecnology wasnt implemented by android but by the company.

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Then why is Oracle suing Google as opposed to everyone who is manufacturing an Android handset? The Oracle v. Google patent infringement lawsuit is about Android infringing the Java patents that Oracle picked up with its purchase of Sun Microsystems.

6. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

The Nook...seriously? This pathetic piece of equipment...

7. Oden unregistered

The NOOK Color is actually a great piece of hardware. It's the stock software that it comes with that limits its capabilities. All it lacks is a built-in camera, a mic, and 3G/4G capabilities for it to be an all-in-one consumer device. As it is right now, with the right OS load, it can go toe to toe with the XOOM. Great piece of hardware, especially for the price.

8. NuShrike unregistered

The Nook Color doesn't need a camera, 3G/4G radio, etc to be an all-in-one device. It can be a really successful device to dominate the iTouch if Android OEMs would just focus and realize that. Right now, the only thing the Nook Color really lacks is working bluetooth AD2P. GPS is solved with bluetooth to external GPS. Rooting and installing CyanogenMod7, it's not a super-fast tablet, but it's a very competent Gingerbread -- and all for $250 before taxes. That's an unbelievable value.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.