Ina Fried

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Microsoft Continues Android Legal Assault, Sues Barnes & Noble Over Nook

Continuing its legal assault on Android, Microsoft on Monday sued Barnes & Noble and two of its contract manufacturers over the company’s Nook e-reader, alleging patent infringement.

The actions, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington and with the U.S. International Trade Commission, charge the bookseller, Foxconn International and Inventec with infringement in conjunction with the Nook.

However, Microsoft’s statement showed its target is the broader Android operating system.

“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights,” Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement, “To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers.”

Gutierrez said that others, such as HTC, have agreed to license Microsoft patents for use with Android-based products and added that Microsoft “tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec.”

A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined comment, citing a policy against speaking about litigation matters.

Microsoft has also taken to the courts over Android as well, filing patent suits against Motorola for that company’s use of the Google-developed open source operating system.

Redmond has said that, while it hopes Windows Phone will eventually rival Android in the market, it is seeking revenue for its mobile patents from those making Android-based devices.

“Their 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,” Gutierrez added.