Microsoft is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Android’s growth, financially speaking. Barnes and Noble, who just released the Android-based Nook Tablet, think Microsoft created a monopoly on the back of the Android OS. Now it’s asking the US Department of Justice to launch an antitrust probe.
Barnes and Noble argues that the licensing terms Microsoft seeks for the patents it holds are not in line with the role those technologies play in the Android operating system and thus prevent smaller companies from launching products in the tablet and smartphone market.
Barnes and Noble won’t say how much money Microsoft was seeking in the agreement, but told the WSJ that it was more than it could afford. Microsoft already has agreements with nearly every major Android hardware manufacturer, including Samsung and HTC. If Barnes and Noble can generate any sort of legal momentum here, it could be a significant win for the little guys in the patent wars. [WSJ]