Microsoft has alleged that the Android-based tablets and e-readers sold by the book seller are in violation of its own patents due to a number of interactive functions in the Google OS that the Microsoft IP and licensing team deems to be “essential to the user experience.”
These functions include the interaction of documents and ebooks, as well as the navigational method of tapping through various screens to find relevant information.
“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, deputy general counsel for Microsoft’s intellectual property and licensing.
Also subject to Microsoft’s wrath are Inventec and Foxconn, both manufacturers of the Android devices.
It is another blow for Barnes & Noble which seems to be having its attempt to place itself in the lucrative e-reader market picked apart, having also been subject to another recent lawsuit from Spring Design over the screens used on the devices.
Of course, if Microsoft is to be believed anyway, this particular suit has been a long time coming – with the firm stating that it has tried to settle “for over a year” but to no avail.
There was no comment from Barnes & Noble, a company which now offers around two million electronic books from its online stores that can be viewed on the Nook readers.
As the largest book seller in the US it is vital that its e-reading platform matches the success of other brands such Amazon’s Kindle as overall sales increase, particularly having already invested heavily in the Nook reader.