Wednesday, November 9, 2011
BARNES AND NOBLE ASKS US GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE MICROSOFT FOR MOBILE DOMINATION
Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) asked U.S. regulators to investigate whether Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) seeks to monopolize the mobile-device market by demanding patent royalties on electronics running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system. “Microsoft is embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices,” Barnes & Noble said in an Oct. 17 letter to Gene Kimmelman, the Justice Department’s chief counsel for competition policy. “Microsoft is attempting to raise its rivals’ costs in order to drive out competition and to deter innovation in mobile devices.”
The world’s largest software maker accused New York-based Barnes & Noble of infringing five patents and filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, seeking to block imports of the Nook readers. Barnes & Noble made public four letters and a presentation to the Justice Department in a filing with the commission yesterday.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, contends it owns patented inventions that are used in the Android operating system, and has struck licensing deals with companies including Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. (2498), two of the biggest makers of Android phones.
“All modern operating systems include many patented technologies,” Microsoft said in a statement. “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.”