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Barnes & Noble steps into the ring with Microsoft, won’t bow to pressure over patents

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 7:36PM EST

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If you are a company that has developed an Android product of any sort, chances are Microsoft has attempted to sue you or drag you in to an expensive licensing agreement. Samsung, HTC and ViewSonic are just a few of the larger firms that currently have deals in place with Microsoft. Barnes & Noble is the latest Android device maker to find itself in Microsoft’s line of fire, but it is not giving up the battle so easily. The retailer recently asked the Justice Department to probe the Redmond-based company over monopoly concerns and has accused the firm of “embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices.” Read on for more.

New information from Barnes & Noble’s letter to the Justice Department says Microsoft’s patents cover “only arbitrary, outmoded and non-essential design features.” Microsoft wants Barnes & Noble to pay “exorbitant licensing fees” on each Nook and Nook Color sold according to the letter, but it hasn’t been able to prove exactly how the eReaders are infringing on its patents.

“Instead of focusing on innovation and the development of new products for consumers, Microsoft has decided to invest its efforts into driving open source developers from the mobile operating systems market,” Barnes & Noble said, claiming that Microsoft is “hindering creativity” in the mobile OS market. Barnes & Noble also argued that Microsoft’s margin-crunching licensing fees would prevent the company from ever upgrading or improving its Nook Tablet family.