In November of last year, Barnes & Noble called for a US investigation of Microsoft over the use of Android patents. The call for investigation had to do with patent licensing fees for Android and kicked off shortly after Barnes & Noble entered the Android market with the Nook Tablet. Barnes & Noble decided to go at Microsoft with a patent misuse defense. Barnes & Noble didn’t make it to court with that claim, an ITC judge has seemingly thrown those claims out before an evidentiary trial even started.
The official ruling is not available, but according to Foss Patents, the headline of the ruling says it all with the title, which reads “Initial Determination Granting Microsoft’s Motion for Summary Determination of Respondents First Affirmative Defense of Patent Misuse.” The ITC commission can review the decision, but apparently, it’s not common for the commission to review this sort of order. This means Barnes & Noble’s suit is dead in the water unless it has other tricks up its sleeves.
Foss Patents says that the problem is that even if all of Barnes & Noble’s claims against Microsoft were accurate, that still would not be enough to fight Microsoft using a patent misuse defense. It appears at this point that Barnes & Noble doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, and it will be forced to license Android patents from Microsoft just as all other major tablet and smartphone makers building on the Android platform have been forced to do. Barnes & Noble also appealed to the Department of Justice and is unlikely to win any support with the DOJ after failing to win any support with the ITC.
[via Foss Patents]