Barnes & Noble seeks DoJ probe into Microsoft Android patent tactics

Barnes_&_Noble_Union_Square_NYC

Barnes & Noble has accused Microsoft of attempting to stifle innovation in the mobile device market by demanding royalties for the use of Android, for which Microsoft owns a number of key software patents, reports Bloomberg. The book giant has asked the US Department of Justice to launch an antitrust investigation against Microsoft.

“Microsoft is embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices,” wrote Barnes & Noble, in a letter to Gene Kimmelman, the DoJ’s chief counsel for corporate competition policy. “Microsoft is attempting to raise its rivals’ costs in order to drive out competition and to deter innovation in mobile devices.”

Of course, Microsoft sees things differently.

In March, Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble, saying that its Nook and Nook Color e-readers infringe on five of its patents. The software maker has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, in an attempt to block imports of the Nook devices. 

“All modern operating systems include many patented technologies,” said Microsoft in response to Barnes & Noble’s 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.”

So far, HTC, Samsung and Amazon have all agreed to sign licensing agreements with Microsoft. Barnes & Noble says the patents Microsoft owns supply a “trivial and non-essential design element” Android. In addition, Barnes & Noble says that the licensing fee is equal to what Microsoft charges for the use of its Windows Phone OS. 

Barnes & Noble also pointed to Microsoft’s recent partnerships with Nokia and MOSAID, which recently acquired 2,000 patents from Nokia, as evidence that the Redmond, Washington-based company aims to make it harder for other mobile device makers to compete.

The trial between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft will begin in February of next year.

Mobile

Huawei has a bold Plan B should tensions affect its software relationships

Huawei has its own software for smartphones and computers prepared, should its relationship with Google and Microsoft be adversely affected by ongoing tensions between it and the U.S..
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Computing

Need more from your conference white board? The Surface Hub 2 should have it

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Deals

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…
Mobile

These voice-changing apps will have you punking friends and family like a pro

Have you ever wanted to call your friends as Darth Vader or Alvin from the Chipmunks? If you want to play a prank on your friends, we have the best voice-changer apps for iOS and Android, whether you want to record audio or make a call.
Mobile

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Mobile

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.
Mobile

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.
Cars

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Mobile

Does this video show off the Huawei P30 Pro's impressive camera suite?

The Huawei P30 Pro will be announced on March 26. It has already started to leak ahead of this date, and expectations are high that the company will improve even further on the P20 Pro's camera.
Mobile

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.
Mobile

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.