M$ v NOOK: Hammering or Being Hammered?

M$ v Barnes and Noble took a comical turn this week. M$ decided to drop several of its claims of patent violation. They now only have three claims left and those three are weak, terribly weak.

  • Patent #6,957,233: Making annotations in read-only documents Chuckle. In Computer Science 101, students have been taught about data structures where diverse items may be associated. This “patent” is about associating some notes with a read-only file…
    structure
    begin
    filename:string;
    note:string
    end;

    Yes. Patentable invention… NOT!
  • Patent #6,891,551: Highlighting and selecting elements of electronic documents ROFL!!! As if cut-and-paste was novel in 2001 when M$ filed the patent application with USPTO without relevant prior art disclosed…
  • Patent #5,778,372: Quickly downloading documents from a browser Yes, finally, some innovation that would have been useful with dial-up in Lose 3.1 but which is irrelevant in 2011 and which the Nook e-reader does not practise…

M$ is being hammered by a book-seller who chose to stand up to the bully. Others who agreed to the extortion are probably having regrets now. M$ is probably having regrets now. If they had left B&N alone, M$’s patent portfolio might still be useful for extorting money from users of Android/Linux but M$ did what they did and now the whole world gets to read about how toothless the old beast is.

see also GROKLAW – Some Really Good News for Barnes & Noble; and Microsoft Withdraws Another Patent ~pj

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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3 Responses to M$ v NOOK: Hammering or Being Hammered?

  1. oiaohm says:

    So much for the case that would make Barnes and Noble pay up. Now the problem is companies that had signed with MS normally will have a escape clause that they can challenge the patents MS holds.

    Win by Barnes and Noble could see MS stuck in courts fighting off the android vendors. Most were simply paying up to see how this case went.

  2. oe says:

    Gotta buy me a Nook….

  3. Dan Serban says:

    Notice how none of those patents actually read on the Linux *kernel* ?
    Ballmer’s initial statement about 235 patents sounded like it was referring to Linux, the kernel.
    It’s becoming pretty clear now that Ballmer took advantage of the fact that Ubuntu at the time was shipping the Mono runtime on its installation media, he then asked the question how many patents does Microsoft have that read on .net, and the number was around 230.

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