April 28, 2011 - Microsoft filed a lawsuit last month with the International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming that the Nook e-reader produced by Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec - or more specifically, the Google Android operating system the Nook uses - infringes Microsoft's patents.
Now Barnes & Noble has filed a rebuttal to the lawsuit, claiming that "Microsoft did not invent, research, develop, or make available to the public mobile devices employing the Android Operating System and other open source operating systems, but nevertheless seeks to dominate something it did not invent."
Barnes & Noble further claims that Microsoft and Nokia agreed on "a strategy for coordinated offensive use of their patents" that the bookseller calls "per se illegal under the antitrust laws, threatens competition for mobile device operating systems and is further evidence of Microsoft's efforts to dominate and control Android and other open source operating systems."
The antitrust allegations arise from Microsoft’s recent agreement with Nokia to replace Nokia’s Symbian operating system with Microsoft’s own mobile device operating system.
In response to Barnes & Noble's rebuttal, Microsoft released a statement saying that "our lawsuits against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec [the Nook's manufacturers] are founded upon their actions, and the issue is their infringement of our intellectual property rights. In seeking to protect our intellectual property, we are doing what any other company in our situation would do."