Barnes & Noble are now accusing Microsoft of using dirty business tactics to shut down competitors and hold back innovation. Barnes & Noble is currently facing a lawsuit against Microsoft for patent violations in the Nook e-reader.
Back in April of this year, Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble alleging that the company infringed on six patents in it's Android powered Nook e-reader. Not only that, Microsoft also sued the manufacturers of the Nook, Foxconn and Inventec.
According to Microsoft, the Nook violates Microsoft's patents because it has the following features:
- Ability to navigate through information provided by device apps via a separate control window with tabs.
- The display of a webpage's content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster.
- Allowing apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content.
- Permitting users to select text in a document and adjust that selection.
- Providing users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document.
Microsoft told Barnes & Noble that if they wanted to continue using these patents, they would have to fork over some cash. Barnes & Noble responded to the accusations by accusing Microsoft of "misusing these patents as part of a scheme to try to eliminate 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."
Barnes & Noble isn't taking this lightly as they have sent a letter to the United States Justice department asking them to probe Microsoft's patent lawsuits. "Microsoft is embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices. Microsoft is attempting to raise its rivals' costs in order to drive out competition and to deter innovation in mobile devices," the letter stated.
Microsoft's response to this? "All modern operating systems include many patented technologies. Microsoft has taken licenses to patents for Windows and we make our patents available on reasonable terms for other operating systems, like Android. We would be pleased to extend a license to Barnes & Noble."