Practical Technology

for practical people.

Microsoft vs. Android


It’s pretty clear that Microsoft, a many-time failure at mass-market tablets has decided that if they can’t beat Apple and Android at popular tablets, they’ll sue them instead. That’s my only explanation for Microsoft suing Barnes & Noble, Foxconn, and Inventec over their Android e-readers.

Microsoft, we now know, from Microsoft’s Horacio Gutierrez, Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property & Licensing, that Microsoft was trying to win by litigation even before Microsoft commercially released Windows 7 tablets. Gutierrez wrote, “We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action.”

Now, I’m no lawyer nor am I a patent expert, but Microsoft’s patents strike me as the kind of bogus software patents that are a perfect example of why software patents are a horrible idea. The patents cover such “patentable” ideas as “Loading Status in a Hypermedia Browser Having a Limited Available Display Area” and “Selection Handles in Editing Electronic Documents.”

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