Microsoft Taking Barnes & Noble to Court Over Patent Violations Relating to E-Readers

Microsoft is crying foul with regard to alleged patent infringements relating to Barnes & Noble Nook and Nook Color e-readers.

As a result, Microsoft is filing suit against both the retail book giant and the manufacturers that produce the hugely popular e-reader devices.

Microsoft says the suit is born over infringement on patents filed during a seven year period spanning 1998 and 2005. The infringements in question mostly relate to software enabling users to tab between screens, surf the Web and interact with e-books.

Microsoft says that Barnes & Noble, unlike HTC, Amazon, and other e-reader makers, has failed to properly license the technologies and intellectual properties they are using.

“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights,” Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s intellectual property and licensing, tells Reuters in a statement.

“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.”

The initial reaction to Microsoft’s claims is that the company is painting a very broad accusation rooted in very few specifics. Less clear is what Microsoft hopes to gain by lumping Foxconn and Inventec (Nook manufacturers) into the mix and bringing them to court for the ride.