Microsoft today sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn, and Invantec over patent infringement stemming from their use of Android-based e-reader and tablet devices. In the suit, Microsoft alleges Barnes & Noble and its device manufacturers, Foxconn and Invantec, have violated patents related to functionality embedded in the Android OS devices.
“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s corporate VP and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing, in a statement. “Their [Barnes & Noble, Foxconn, Invantec’s] refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year to bring great software products and services to market.”
According to Gutierrez, the patents at issue are related to the underlying aspects of Android’s user experience including “natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens to find the information they need; surfing the Web more quickly, and interacting with documents and e-books.”
Unlike Barnes & Noble, HTC has reached a licensing agreement with Microsoft over these patents, Gutierrez added. He said Microsoft has tried for over a year to reach similar agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec, but to no avail.
We’ll update you when we know more.