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Barnes & Noble responds to Microsoft with 44 pages of prior art, requests evidence of patent misuse

On Monday we updated you on Microsoft’s ongoing attempts to collect royalties from Barnes & Noble for their use of Android in Nook devices. In the process we got a look into some of the tactics Microsoft has been using to sign up Android vendors in licensing agreements.

Now, in another detailed report from Groklaw, we learn that Google has filed an objection to Microsoft’s most recent request for the company to respond to its motion in a reduced period of time. More importantly perhaps, Barnes & Noble has bombarded the ITC with almost 44 pages of prior art, in a “Supplemental Notice of Prior Art” filing. We of course can’t go over even a fraction of all the prior art listed in the full PDF, but you can expect to see just about everything from a ton of old Netscape Navigator stuff, to articles and technical documents on Adobe products, Hypercard, Mosaic, IBM OS/2, the Arena web browser, and articles on Apple’s Newton MessagePad 2000.

Barnes & Noble is also requesting the ITC issue a letter rogatory to Canadian company MOSAID Technologies, who hasn’t voluntarily handed over evidence of a deal it made with Nokia and Microsoft. As they describe (below), B&N seeks to use evidence of that deal to defend itself against Microsoft’s claims. A letter rogatory is essentially a letter of request from one country’s court to another, in this case the appropriate Canadian court, to request permission of an act that might “constitute a violation of that country’s sovereignty” otherwise. In other words, they need to get the Canadian’s court permission before going after MOSAID.

B&N described the situation in filing 464403 from November 16, 2011: