Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

Summary: Microsoft nemesis David Boies is back, this time representing Barnes & Noble in its fight against Microsoft over Android patents.

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TOPICS: Legal, CXO, Microsoft
12

The Barnes & Noble vs. Microsoft case over patents just keeps getting more interesting.

The latest installment in the saga is that David Boies -- yes, that David Boies of Microsoft antitrust fame -- is now assisting B&N in the battle between the two before the International Trade Commission (ITC).

Florian Mueller, IP analyst and founder of the FOSS Patents blog (who is working on a Microsoft-funded study of FRAND patents, as he has disclosed previously), posted about the newest member of B&N's legal team on his site on November 30.

Boies is the chairman of the Boies, Schiller & Flexner law firm.

Mueller noted:

"Boies joins a legal team led by Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a law firm that is particularly close to IBM (and vice versa), and Kenyon & Kenyon, a firm focused on intellectual property and especially ITC cases. That team has just recently been complemented by two lawyers from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, a high-profile litigation firm that also represents Google as a third party in this investigation and the three leading Android device makers (Samsung, HTC and Motorola) against Apple as well as Motorola against Microsoft."

Boies' firm also is one of two that is representing Oracle against Google, as Mueller blogged. Boies also represented Salesforce in a patent-infringement case between the two (which resulted in Salesforce paying Microsoft an undisclosed sum). Most famously, Boies represented the U.S. Department of Justice in its antitrust case against Microsoft in the 1990s.

Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec (the companies manufacturing the Nook) in March 2011, claiming the Nook infringed on a handful of Microsoft’s patents. Barnes & Noble countersued. The ITC began investigating the case earlier this year. Recently, the ITC supported a Microsoft motion to dismiss B&N's "patent misuse" defense even without any discovery, as Mueller noted in his post.

B&N has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Microsoft's patent-licensing tactics.

Topics: Legal, CXO, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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12 comments
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  • Interesting

    Given his years of representing SCO, he has lots of experience as to the perils of trying to use secret IP as an anticompetitive weapon. Hopefully, he learned something.
    John L. Ries
  • RE: Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

    If you can't beat them throw more lawyers at them.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Question

      @Loverock Davidson-
      Is Mr. Boies a villain for representing the U.S. government in the MS antitrust case (and now B&N against MS), or a hero for representing SCO in the IBM and Novell cases?
      John L. Ries
      • Maybe both?

        @John L. Ries
        I suspect that his feelings about Bois are "blackwhite".

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Newspeak_words#Blackwhite
        Zogg
  • RE: Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

    I hope Bois and Co.are destroying the patenttroll Micro$oft! Damn criminal monopoly...
    Watchmen247
    • Me too, Im glad to see the lawyers profiting from the patent system

      @Watchmen247 And how original to use that "$" instead of an "s". Really clever you are.

      And what exactly is a patent troll?
      otaddy
      • RE: Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

        @otaddy
        "And what exactly is a patent troll?"
        I think it the creature that that hides underneath the beds of 10 year olds!
        Oh im so sorry i did not mean to scare you Watchmen247
        Unrealmaster287
  • RE: Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

    @maryjofoley can you tell me what patents B&N are being sued over?
    i'd like to see if it actually makes sense.
    thanks
    taabello
    • RE: Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

      @taabello@... That's the crux of the issue....Microsoft has not disclosed the patents they claim have been violated. They are using lawsuits as a shakedown (think extortion) tool by requiring the "victim" companies to sign a NDA BEFORE they will disclose the nature of the alleged wrongdoing.

      If that is not criminal behavior....
      chipbeef
      • RE: Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

        @chipbeef what's criminal are the words some people are using to describe this "legal" situation. Words like "victim", "extortion", "shakedown"....<br><br>What's so "criminal" about forfilling what's required by your shareholders? .. protecting IP that's yours.<br><br>Signing a NDA before reading what MS "claims" you are violating doesn't mean they have to pay MS. What's wrong with B&N singing the NDA and seeing the patents they violate? Maybe scared?!?!<br><br>Plus, I thought B&N was complaining NOT that they were violating the patents, but that the licensing fees were too high.
        iceman357
      • &quot;Microsoft has not disclosed&quot; Who said? Doesn't fit the facts.

        @chipbeef They have to disclose them to B&N and to the courts, just not to the public. We know that it was documented in the lawsuit because B&N then went on to try and show that the patents were invalid by demonstrating prior-art. To do this B&N would have had to know what the patents in question were.
        DevGuy_z
  • RE: Barnes & Noble adds David Boies to its legal team to fight Microsoft over patents

    You got love it when lawyers and politicians find an issue and ride it all the way to the bank in the name of serving the public interest. Hopefully, Mr. Boies will find that word antitrust does not make Microsoft give him their lunch money like it did in the DOJs days.

    I am no fan of patents but I am less of a fan of lawyers that work both side of the issue. What would be great is if Mr. Boies arguments for Oracle's case against Google, helped Microsoft's case against B&N, or vice-versa. That's what I would call justice! I predict the winners to be the lawyers.
    windowseat