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Barnes & Noble Requests Probe into Microsoft's Patent Tactics

Barnes & Noble Requests Probe into Microsoft's Patent Deals

Barnes & Noble has accused Microsoft of attempting to cripple the competition in the mobile market by demanding licensing fees for the use of Android, of which Microsoft owns a few key patents. The American book retailer has requested the Department of Justice launch an antitrust investigation against the Redmond firm. 

In a letter addressed to Gene Kimmelman, the Justice Department's chief counsel, Barnes & Noble states that "Microsoft is embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices". The bookseller asserted that "Microsoft is attempting to raise its rivals' costs in order to drive out competition and to deter innovation in mobile devices."

Back in March, Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble over the Nook and Nook Color e-readers for their supposed infringement of five Microsoft's patents. The software maker also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, hoping to block imports of the Nook devices.

"All modern operating systems include many patented technologies," Microsoft said in response to Barnes & Noble’s recent claims. "Microsoft has taken licenses to patents for Windows and we make our patents available on reasonable terms for other operating systems, like Android. We would be pleased to extend a license to Barnes & Noble."

Source: Bloomberg (via Ars Technica)

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