Microsoft has been tiptoeing around its claims that Android violates certain Microsoft patents, carefully choosing who to sue. For example, it's sued Motorola
, but hasn't sued Google. The latest is that it's suing Barnes & Noble for infringing on its patents
, claiming that the Nook ebook reader, which uses Android, violates its patents. The patents in question all seem to cover astoundingly obvious concepts that Microsoft should be ashamed to hold patents on and be asserting:
- System provided child window controls: 5,889,522
- Remote retrieval and display management of electronic document with incorporated images: 5,778,372
- Loading status in a hypermedia browser having a limited available display area: 6,339,780
- Selection handles in editing electronic documents: 6,891,551
- Method and apparatus for capturing and rendering annotations for non-modifiable electronic content: 6,957,233
It's always sad when companies focus more on litigating rather than innovating. I mean, seriously, does anyone think that, without patents, people wouldn't have made these kinds of advancements? These aren't advancements that requires a patent at all. These are the kinds of advancements that happen naturally in the marketplace due to competition and multiple companies competing to offer a better product to customers.
Of course, it's nice to see the response on Microsoft's own blog involves comments trashing Microsoft
for this decision. Scrolling down the comments, almost all of them are incredibly negative against Microsoft, pointing out that these patents are obvious, that Microsoft should be ashamed of itself for suing, and people swearing off Microsoft products for being a patent bully. Perhaps Microsoft might want to think its patent litigation strategy in recognizing that it's not particularly well received by consumers.
The comments really are great, but my favorite may be: "None of this BS will get anyone to buy a Windows phone anyway." And that's kind of the point. Microsoft should focus on innovating. Not bitching about what competitors are doing better than it did.