Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

Summary: Microsoft has trimmed one of the patents and narrowed the scope of four others that are at the heart of its Android patent suit against Barnes & Noble.

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TOPICS: Legal, Microsoft
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Microsoft has cut one of the patents over which it is suing Barnes & Noble and trimmed back asserted claims on the four others at the heart of the case.

Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec (the companies manufacturing the Nook) in March 2011, claiming the Android-based Nook infringed on a handful of Microsoft’s patents. Barnes & Noble countersued. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) began investigating the case last year. B&N also has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Microsoft’s patent-licensing tactics.

Microsoft is characterizing its January 9 move as being designed to streamline the hearing in the matter, which is slated to occur next month.

"From a case management perspective, (Microsoft's withdrawal) helps both parties and the ITC: they get to focus on a smaller number of patent claims," noted Florian Mueller, an 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).

The patent which Microsoft cut from the handful of those over which it is suing Barnes & Noble cover the "loading status in a hypermedia browser having a limited available display area," as Mueller explained in a blog post this week.

Microsoft officials declined to comment on this week's action and referred me to the stipulation filed by the company. That document states that Microsoft does not consider its reduction of claims as "an admission as to the merits of any claim."

In other Microsoft legal news, it came to light this week that Microsoft has filed a suit against Motorola Mobility in the High Court of London. The actual filing of the case occurred in December 2011. Microsoft is declining to comment on the matter. Microsoft and Motorola Mobility, which is in the process of being acquired by Google, are engaged in a legal patent war before the U.S. ITC.

Topics: Legal, 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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25 comments
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  • Backpedaling ...

    nt
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Useful comment ... /s

      nt
      Lamerz
      • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

        @Lamerz
        Backpedaling: To retreat or withdraw from a position or attitude.

        Short and sweet.
        daikon
  • M$ must drop the litigation completely

    in order to save face for filing frivolous lawsuits.
    Legal scholars have proven that M$ have no patents against android or Linux.
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

      @The Linux Geek which is why most Linux distributions (SUSE, Red Hat etc.) pay MS a tithe and many Android manufacturers have agreed to pay licensing fees to carry on using MS IP in their products?

      And no, I'm not an MS fanboy, I'm a long time Linux tester, own an Android phone, as well as using Windows.
      wright_is
      • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

        @wright_is
        You lie. Redhat does not pay MS and has stated multiple times that MS should bring in any claims they may have. Which has not happened and probably will never happen.
        Suse have a cross licensing deal and as usually details are not disclosed.
        Most vendors do not want to litigate and recognize that MS has too much muscle and it is not worth fighting in court. Also we don't know any details- they may be paying 1$ for all we know.
        kirovs@...
  • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

    Sounds like the do not want those patents invalidated. Once the patent is invalidated, Microsoft???s FUD campaign will be exposed for what it is...
    Rick_Kl
    • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

      @Rick_Kl
      +1
      kirovs@...
  • MS knows it is wrong.

    And I hope B&N and Motorola keep up the good work at exposing the Sham from MS.
    itguy10
    • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

      @itguy10 Absolutely!
      Socratesfoot
    • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

      @itguy10
      The state of current patent law is crap. However, MSFT is doing no different than Apple or any other large corporation with a large number of patents. It's just evil and horrible because it's MSFT, right? You are well known as an anti-MSFT troll on these comments.
      Lamerz
      • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

        @Lamerz if you are enforcing a Patent, when someone copies one of your products, it is one thing. If you are using vague patents to extract protection payments, or force the OEMs into buying a license for your product (forced sale) then it is wrong.If the product was good, there would be no need for forced sales.
        Rick_Kl
  • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

    Legal scholars haven't proven anything about Microsoft patents...

    I'll be the first to argue that the patent system should die and there are TONS of frivolous patents that shouldn't exist. But, as long as it does exist, Microsoft has a perfectly legitimate claim. B&N is going to lose this fight, just as other Android manufacturers have. There's a reason so many people have settled with MS and Apple is on a winning spree.

    Fair or not, like it or not, that's how patent law works. B&N is not going to win this round.
    copenhavert
    • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

      @copenhavert or conversly B&N could win, prompting others to seek refunds on payments they were forced to make. This would no doubt harm Microsoft, as the perception of mafia tactics would awaken those that sought to break up Microsoft in the past. It was the mafia style business practices, that got Microsoft into trouble in the past. So any perception of them reverting to their old ways will be frowned upon.
      Rick_Kl
    • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

      @copenhavert
      Who are these other Android manufactures that lost a Microsoft lawsuit?
      daikon
      • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

        @daikon to date none have gone to trial, Microsoft is not interested in going to trial, just collecting license fees. It does not matter if those fees are legitimate, or not, Microsoft is only interested in license fees.
        Rick_Kl
  • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

    Most likely wanted to focus their resources on the 4 important patents that will make them lots of money from android. Makes good business sense.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

      @Loverock Davidson-
      Or the patent no longer applies since the Nook 1.4 update.
      Test Subject
      • RE: Microsoft withdraws one patent from Barnes & Noble Android case

        @Test Subject
        +1
        Ram U
  • Just focusing, nothing more. If MS wanted they cound bring out a few

    thousand patents that the Nook violates. Doubtful the nook will last as a product long enough to have all it's infringments tried. Amazon is killing it off quicker than MS can. B&N is on board the same train that Borders caught last year. Another brick and mortar no ones going to miss.
    Johnny Vegas