Microsoft recently has filed a lawsuit against Barnes & Noble (B&N) for the Nook & Nook Color’s usage of Android.  This action came after several attempts by Microsoft to get B&N to sign a licensing deal for 6 patents Microsoft alleges that the Android OS infringes on.  Of course having no clear evidence that the infringement is valid B&N scoffed at the deal.  One of the most shocking thing to B&N was what they term “outrageously high” licensing costs for the patents in question.  Evidently, it is more costly to license the 6 patents that Android OS infringes on than to license the entire Windows Phone OS from Microsoft.

One of the major advantages and key to Android adoption by OEMs is the perceived free cost to use the Android OS.  When faced with increased competition from market leader Apple a few years back OEMs had to make the choice to stick with a windows based platform or go Android.  Of course business is business so it made sense to use an OS that was “free” and save you millions of dollars you could then translate into R&D on custom skins and differentiating features.

The downside is that while Android happily allows any and everyone to use the Android OS and do basically whatever they wish to it they don’t protect anyone who uses the OS from legal action.  Microsoft, unlike Google, stands behind and protects its partners from legal actions associated with using their products.

In a war that is sure to heat up its clear that OEMs better do their research and that everyone is taking this seriously.


Source: Business Insider


  1. That was obvious. Even Microsoft has to pay for patents too.

    Android doesn’t violate any patent because it is free is bullshit.

  2. Google could have purchased palm and used the patent portfolio to protect their OEMs but instead they chose some cheapo, everything-should-be-free route and that makes no sense. The fact that they don’t even throw some legal help behind their oems and just leaves it up to them to defend themselves is amazing.

  3. @pastc0: Exactly! They don’t even try to protect OEMs and for all the hoopla and feeling of wanting to take the powerful Microsoft down it is Microsoft is the company that is providing confidence and security to its partners. Out of Apple, Google & Microsoft you hear and see the term “partners” used most prevalent by Microsoft even going so far as to take hits in the name of their partners even when said partners screw them over by making changes and not letting Microsoft know about it.

  4. @Murani: Wait a second, fake Murani! The real Murani knows it’s cool, even though it’s incorrect, annoying and stupid, to use at least two spaces after every period before starting a new sentence.

    Sue all you want in defense of whoever, no one cares, especially OEMs, as they’ll soon demonstrate.

  5. You know after reading your bullshit I figured I’d might as well read Microsoft’s bullshit to see them not mention WP figures in their quarterly report that just hit. Spoiler, they didn’t, as usual.

    What they did mention is that they struck a deal with Nokia to let Nokia deal with everything for them in exchange for an unknown but “competitive” rate of licensing money. Also, “Microsoft will make annual payments to Nokia, in recognition of the unique nature of Nokia’s agreement with Microsoft and the contributions that Nokia is providing.”

    So they’re paying each other, won’t tell investors how much. One guy’s giving the other guy money, meanwhile that guy is giving the first guy money too, because that makes sense. What, are they laundering money? Or just want to make money move around hoping that the motion creates emotion?

    Regarding your lawsuit argument about why it’s better to be on Team MS so that you’re insulated from legal liabilities, also from their 10-Q:

    We have claims and lawsuits against us that may result in adverse outcomes. We are subject to a variety of claims and lawsuits. Adverse outcomes in some or all of these claims may result in significant monetary damages or injunctive relief that could adversely affect our ability to conduct our business… A large number of antitrust and unfair competition class action lawsuits were filed against us in various state, federal, and Canadian courts… We estimate the total cost to resolve all of the state overcharge class action cases will range between $1.9 billion and $2.0 billion.

    [yada yada yada]

    In November 2010, Motorola filed two patent infringement actions against us in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin and one in U.S. District Court in Florida on a total of sixteen patents asserted variously against Windows, Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile 6.5, Xbox, Bing Maps, Hotmail, Messenger, and Exchange Server.

    In addition to these cases, there are approximately 50 other patent infringement cases pending against Microsoft.

    Oh my. The lawsuit summaries go on for pages. No wonder you didn’t read them.

    One more snippet:

    Security vulnerabilities in our products and services could lead to reduced revenues or to liability claims.

    Now this I don’t buy. Vulnerabilities hurting business, Microsoft’s demonstrated again and again that they won’t let something like this get in the way of having a permanently undervalued stock because no one expects anything from them other than some dividends.

    Anyway, looks like they’re sort of divesting themselves from Windows Phone, handing it off to Nokia to see if they can turn it into something — like “a broader range of price points.” Your favorite term Murani. Broader range of price points… kind of like with Android phones, right? Except with Android, the OEMs that got involved don’t end up running for ze hills.

  6. Don’t worry Dougie. “We have claims and lawsuits against us that may result in adverse outcomes. We are subject to a variety of claims and lawsuits. Adverse outcomes in some or all of these claims may result in significant monetary damages or injunctive relief that could adversely affect our ability to conduct our business” is just announcing publicly as to not deceive shareholders.

    Microsoft is a software company and is acknowledging Nokia’s hardware expertise. So you have something against them knowing there strengths?

    Funny I don’t see any mention of them failing to stand up for there partners.

  7. Just read your source, Business Insider, Microsoft’s Latest Legal Attack On Android Shows Desperation, seems I missed the point of your article altogether.

    So what you’re letting us know is that Microsoft, as usual, is engaging in patent extortion to compete with Android and, as usual, it ain’t working, though is arguably anticompetitive legally or at least in spirit. Nevertheless, given that Microsoft is doing this to companies like Barnes and Noble, other such companies may want to keep that in mind when making their decision to go with Android or the thing that won’t sell, the colossal flop Windows Phone.

    Barnes & Noble says Microsoft approached it and said that Android infringes on six of its patents. But Microsoft wouldn’t offer more details about the claims unless the bookseller signed a non-disclosure agreement. B&N refused, noting that the patents were a matter of public record.

    Microsoft came back and threatened that it could shut down B&N’s use of Android entirely.
    Then, according to B&N, the company outlined royalty rates that were “shockingly high.”

    High five guys, that’s genius. But why didn’t they include the revenue they get from all this hard work in their 10-Q? What, because it’s extortion, scummy, reeks of desperation (your own source!) and they still aren’t that good at it? Is that why?

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  8. Question dickbag, if Microsoft’s product is both superior and less expensive /and/ less illegal, why the fuck would B&N make their book thing run Android in addition to, like Amazon, not even making a Windows Phone app?

    You are aware that that only makes sense from a delusional perspective, correct?

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