Microsoft Partners with B&N’s Nook in eBook Business

After (or as a part of) settling their lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, Microsoft will be investing $300 million (plus another $305 million in future investments) in a new subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, giving them a 17.6% equity stake in the company.

It makes me wonder if perhaps Microsoft decided that their patent-infringement claims weren’t so solid, after all. In any case, I’m hard-pressed to believe that anything good will come out of this for the consumer.

Read more at seattletimes.com.

Microsoft Narrows its Barnes & Noble Lawsuit

Microsoft has dropped one of the five claims it made against Barnes & Noble in its patent-infringement lawsuit.

In March of last year, Microsoft filed suit, alleging various infringements. The one just dropped dealt with the use of tab controls. Microsoft asserts that the claim was dropped to “streamline” the issues, and that it was not a concession on its part. Barnes & Noble, on the other hand, argued that tab controls simply were not patentable to begin with.

While I am not an attorney of any sort, much less a patent attorney, it seems to me that by dropping this issue, Microsoft has neatly avoided a ruling that Barnes & Noble’s declaration was, in fact, correct, thereby saving themselves the patent.

There are now only three claimed infringements remaining.

Read more at redmondmag.com.

Microsoft Sues Barnes & Noble, Targets Android Use

Microsoft has filed suit against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn International Holdings, and Inventec Corp., claiming infringement of the following:

  • The use of tabs for navigation in a control window
  • Showing download status superimposed on a page
  • The ability to select text
  • The ability to annotate text text without changing the underlying document.
  • The display of page content before the background is displayed

Where does the patent office find the people who approve patents for these things? This is utterly ridiculous! Not only should Microsoft be ashamed of themselves for patenting things like this, U.S. citizens as a whole should be appalled that we’ve allowed things to reach this preposterous level.

Read more at redmondmag.com.