Barnes & Noble seeks to reverse ruling in Microsoft patent flap

The giant bookseller files a motion, saying the decision by an administrative law judge reached "erroneous conclusions" and was based on "a misstatement of the facts."

Barnes & Noble is asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to reconsider its decision last week to to dismiss Barnes & Noble's "patent misuse" defense in its case against Microsoft.

A motion, filed with the agency by Barnes & Noble lawyers yesterday, asks the agency to review the ruling by Administrative Law Judge Theodore Essex, which the company says "rests on both erroneous conclusions of law and a misstatement of the facts." The bookseller argues that the ruling doesn't address its arguments or analyze them under the appropriate patent laws.

The Nook Color, a target of Microsoft's lawsuit. Barnes & Noble

Last week's ruling weakened Barnes & Noble's defense against claims brought last year by Microsoft that the Nook e-reader and the Nook Color tablet infringed on the software giant's patents. Microsoft accused Barnes & Noble of violating specific patents that cover the way users tab through various screens on the Nook to find the information, as well as the way they interact with documents and e-books.

In the new filing, Barnes & Noble also blasted Microsoft's tactics of seeking licensing fees from device makers that use Google's Android mobile operating system, which powers the Nook devices.

"Barnes & Noble asserts that Microsoft's conduct in connection with its 'Android licensing program,' when examined as a whole, constitutes patent misuse because through this conduct Microsoft is leveraging trivial patents--patents that could otherwise easily be worked around--in order to charge licensing fees for products that do not infringe any Microsoft patents at all," the company said in its filing.

Both Barnes & Noble and Microsoft declined to comment on the filing.

 

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