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.
"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.