updated 06:30 pm EST, Fri December 9, 2011
ITC agrees Nokia and Mosaid should give info
Barnes & Noble got an important win late this week after the ITC agreed (PDF) to make requests to Canada and Finland for evidence from patent holder Mosaid as well as Nokia. The calls would have Mosaid supply documents for its deal with Nokia through a letter rogatory, or a non-binding request to a foreign court. Nokia, meanwhile, would be asked for testimony from CEO Stephen Elop and other executives under the Hague Convention's Article 3, in which case the court wouldn't have much choice but to comply.
The focuses would be on any discussions Microsoft, Mosaid, and Nokia had around Nook devices as well as the agreements between companies. Nokia would be asked for detailed information about how it was using its patent collection and its overall expectations for market share, including how much of an impact both coming from and dealt by Android. Nokia's knowledge of Microsoft's patents was also under scrutiny.
Elop and peers could only deny testimony if they're legally allowed to refuse so under Finnish or US law.
While the requests won't necessarily prove Barnes & Noble's claims of anti-competitive patent abuse from Microsoft, they could help the bookseller know if Microsoft was colluding with Mosaid and Nokia to shut down competition from Android rather than just protecting rights, as Microsoft claims in public. The goals of slowing down Android and pushing more companies towards Windows Phone have always been known, but asking Nokia and Mosaid to help do the same could be interpreted as evidence of purely anti-competitive behavior. [via GrokLaw]