Former Microsoft courtroom nemesis David Boies will once again square off against the software giant, this time working on behalf of Barnes & Noble.
According to a filing with the United States International Trade Commission, the book retailer has retained Boies in its defense againstby Microsoft. In March, the company accused Barnes & Noble as well as the makers of its Android-based e-reader and tablet devices, in part, of infringing on patents that control the way users tab through various screens on the Nook e-reader and the Nook Color tablet, both of which run Android.
The brief notice of appearance, filed with the ITC yesterday and first reported by software patent blog Foss Patents, notes that Boies will serve as counsel in the matter to Barnes & Noble.
Boies is among the most high-profile antitrust lawyers in the country. Most recently he has represented National Basketball Association players in the dispute over the lockout by team owners. (The sides came to a tentative agreement late last week.) He is also is representing Oracle in its intellectual-property suit against Google.
In the tech world, Boies is best-known for his dogged questioning of Microsoft executives during the landmark antitrust trial. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates famously quarreled in his deposition with Boies over the meaning of words such as "concern" and "compete."
In the Barnes & Noble case, Boies will likely focus on the company's claims that Microsoft's patent-licensing tactics are an attempt towith flimsy infringement claims. In an October 17 letter to Gene I. Kimmelman, the chief counsel for competition policy in the Justice Department's antitrust division, Barnes & Noble lawyer Peter T. Barbur argued that the agency should investigate Microsoft's actions.
Boies didn't immediate return calls for comment. Barnes & Noble and Microsoft declined to comment.