Microsoft Takes Legal Aim at Android Devices

Microsoft has commenced legal action against Barnes&Noble as well as its device manufacture partners, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. and Inventec Corportation. It alleges patent infringements by the Barnes and Noble e-reader that is powered by Google's Android Operating System.

Horacio Gutierrez, corporate VP and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft said in a statement that "The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights."

Google however take a different view and in a statement to said "sweeping software patent claims like Microsoft's threaten innovation. While we are not a party to this lawsuit, we stand behind the Android platform and the partners who have helped us to develop it."

Gutierrez did point out that Microsoft has been trying to engage Barnes and Noble and its device manufacturers in a licensing agreement for the past year and that they have licensed their intellectual properly to other Android vendors such as HTC.

There are at least five patents that Microsoft have identified as ones Android may be infringing upon. Among the list is U.S. Patent No. 5,889,522 titled, "System provided child window controls." The patent describes a method to enable the opening of a new, tabbed control window; U.S. Patent No. 5,778,372, describes a method for, "Remote retrieval and display management of electronic documents."; U.S. Patent No. 6,339,780 is about providing the status of download and is titled, "Loading status in a hypermedia browser having a limited available display area."

Microsoft has previously taken legal action against Motorola for alleged infringement of nine Microsoft patents.

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