Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Nov 2011 16:13 UTC
Legal To anyone who has been reading anything on the web over the past few months, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Barnes & Noble is currently embroiled in a patent lawsuit started by Microsoft, after the bookseller/tablet maker refused to pay protection money to Redmond. Barnes & Noble has now openly said what we already knew, and has filed an official complaint at the US Department of Justice: Microsoft is engaging in anticompetitive practices. Update: Here's the slide deck B&N presented to the DoJ.
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RE[3]: ...
by mutantsushi on Wed 9th Nov 2011 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
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" The fact that they are suing for different licenses than they offered to license is one issue.
That's not an issue what-so-ever. If patent violations have occurred, that's the bottom line. "
No, that IS an issue. Maybe MS still has a valid case re: some patents - FINE. But if they are trolling for payments (affecting competition) for other stuff that isn´t valid, that is behavior that may very well be sanctionable. Note that other vendors have succombed to these tactics, so it is already affecting the market.

The fact that they are charging more for the licenses than they are for their entire Windows Phone 7 is another.
They can charge however much they want. [/q]
If they are charging a radically higher fee for patents vs. what they charge for WP7 which includes those and much more, there is a case for non-competitive practices because that is obviously not a level playing field, but one where they are leveraging their advantage in one ´market´ (patents) to advantage themselves in another market (OS´s). It doesn´t matter if the component actions might otherwise be legal, doing that is illegal... ESPECIALLY in the EU, even if they are using US patent law that can and obviously does affect competition within the EU.

It will be very interesting if this case goes forward, to see if the court subpoenas MS / other vendors to see what is the actual substance of what is being discussed behind NDA secrecy...

Edited 2011-11-09 19:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5