Microsoft has new edge in Barnes and Noble lawsuit

Microsoft has been making patent agreements with a large number of companies that make Android-based smartphones and tablets. That includes a a recent deal Microsoft made with LG. One company that isn't interested in such a deal is bookseller Barnes and Noble, which makes the Android-powered Nook Color and Nook Tablet devices. Barnes and Noble filed a lawsuit against Microsoft to fight off such an agreement.

This week, according to Bloomberg, Microsoft won a victory in court as a judge for the U.S. International Trade Commission dismissed one of Barnes and Noble's major arguments. The bookseller claimed that Microsoft was misusing its patents in order to fight off competition with Google's Android OS. However, the judge in the case disagreed.

Microsoft claims that Barnes and Noble is currently in violation of four of Microsoft's patents. In a statement, Microsoft Deputy General Counsel David Howard said, "Today’s action by the ITC makes clear that Barnes & Noble’s patent misuse defense was meritless. This case is only about one thing -- patent infringement by Barnes & Noble’s Android-based devices."

Howard added that Microsoft "... remain as open as ever to extending a license to Barnes & Noble, and invite them to join the many other major device makers in paying for the Microsoft-developed intellectual property they use in their devices." A spokesperson for Barnes and Noble would not comment on the decision.

The actual trial in this case is expected to start in Washington DC on February 6.

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