Microsoft has claimed a legal victory over bookseller Barnes and Noble in a case over alleged anti-trust violations after a US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge dismissed the case.
The judge threw out claims from Barnes and Noble that Microsoft was misusing its patent portfolio by using the threat of patent litigation to scare firms away from the Android mobile platform.
The company had alleged that Microsoft's actions were in violation of anti-trust regulations and asked the US Department of Justice to investigate the matter.
Patent litigation expert Florian Mueller said the ruling could haunt Barnes and Noble in other proceedings as well.
In a post to his FOSS Patents blog, Mueller explained the company is now vulnerable to patent infringement claims from Microsoft.
"Barnes and Noble bet heavily on its patent misuse defence," Mueller wrote.
"Playing the 'anti-trust' card was its only chance to bring any counterclaims at all."
Mueller noted that the deal could have a wider effect on the mobile space as well as it gives Microsoft significant momentum going into future cases.
"Microsoft's intellectual strategy has, essentially, received a stamp of approval by a government agency," Mueller explained.
"It's a fact that Microsoft has successfully concluded patent licence agreements covering more than 70 per cent of all Android devices sold in the US market, a level of acceptance that wouldn't be possible if Microsoft's terms were as unreasonable as Barnes and Noble alleged."
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