updated 12:35 pm EST, Wed January 11, 2012
Microsoft reduces scope of complaint vs Nook
Microsoft has scaled back the reach of its dispute with Barnes & Noble has made a deal to streamline some of the case. A filing this week dropped one patent, for a browser loading status feature, from an International Trade Commission complaint against the Nook maker. Four other patents had some of their individual claims dropped.
In reducing the scope of its argument, Microsoft was careful to make the common claim that it wasn't admitting the patent claims were invalid. It had reduced the arguments to "simplify" and "streamline" the patent claims and the actual legal process, Microsoft said.
The ITC regularly encourages slimming cases down to avoid spurious arguments and to speed up the resolution of the case, whether it's a fine, a ban, or an exoneration. Microsoft's decision could still limit the potential for damages on the civil lawsuit side of the case, as it couldn't count on the usually faster ITC ruling to pressure Barnes & Noble on as many fronts.
Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble last year for being one of the few to resist its attempt to charge royalties for every Android device. The Windows developer has long insisted that Google's OS inherently uses Microsoft technology, but Barnes & Noble has broken the silence and noted that Microsoft was trying to control device features, not just enforce patents, while preventing many of the companies it targets from seeing the patent violation claims until they agree not to mention them in public. [via Florian Mueller]