Microsoft, which has failed in the mobile space, has been using dirty tactics to 'extort' ransom from Android players. The company was busy signing 'confidential' deals with Android players, and was making huge claims over how Android infringes on its patents.
Microsoft's Brad Smith recited the same nursery rhyme every time Microsoft's strongmen forced a company to sign a patent deal with them.
Brad indirectly admitted that innovation and better products is no more (as it never was) Microsoft's primary revenue generation model. The next business model of Microsoft is to collect taxes via 'threat to sue' and 'confidential' patent deals.
Horacio Gutierrez of Microsoft was almost proud of these deals, “We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome.”
Microsoft Is Bluffing
But it turns out that Microsoft was playing bluff with Android players. Their game was to threaten to sue and most companies would rather throw a bone at the dog than to enrage in a dirty dog fight. Microsoft continued to show the bones it was collecting. Since the deals were confidential now one ever got to know how 'concrete' are Microsoft's patent claims.
Barnes & Nobel has exposed Microsoft's extortion plan which means from now onwards no company will sign any deal with Microsoft.
Barnes & Noble has done the world a tremendous favor, by pulling aside the curtain and revealing Microsoft's patent campaign tactics against Android in lurid detail.
It reveals the assertion of "trivial" and "invalid" patents against Barnes & Noble and some shocking details about an "oppressive" license agreement that would have controlled hardware and software design features that Microsoft presented, thus limiting to what degree Barnes & Noble could offer upgrades and improved features to its customers if it had signed it, features it says none of Microsoft's patents cover. Microsoft worked so hard to keep it all secret, and I think you'll see why. It's ugly behind that curtain.
The Exhibit D of the letter filed by Barnes & Noble gives a "a long detailing of the incredibly insignificant patents Microsoft has the nerve to use against Android, claiming control of the entire operating system with what is pretty much a handful of stupid patents no one really needs or which are so trivial that the fees it claims become outrageous."
Groklaw further writes:
The patents, we read, "cover only arbitrary, outmoded and non-essential design features" and yet Microsoft is demanding "prohibitively expensive licensing fees", in effect asserting "veto power" over Android's features. One aspect of the license, Barnes & Noble tells us, was a demand to control design elements, requiring designers to adhere to specific hardware and software specifications in order to obtain a license. That, Barnes & Noble says, is "oppressive and anticompetitive". I think it's accurate to say that the company believes it is illegal.
Icing on the cake? Groklaw says, "In discussions with Microsoft, Barnes & Noble says, Microsoft itself was unable to fully explain how the Nook or Nook Color infringed one of the patents asserted. "
Let's see what Linus Torvalds has to say about Microsoft's attacks.