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Microsoft Sues Barnes & Noble Over Nook, Claims Android Patent Infringement

Mar 22, 20113 mins
AndroidData and Information SecurityEnterprise Applications

Is Microsoft another patent troll with its claims that Android violates specific Microsoft patents? Yesterday MS filed to sue Barnes & Noble over the Nook.

Microsoft claims that Android violates Microsoft patents, yet it hasn’t sued Google. Instead it sued Motorola and now is suing Barnes & Noble for the Nook e-reader running the Android operating system which the Mighty M claims is infringing on its patents.

According to a Microsoft blog post, written by Corporate VP and Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez, “Together with the patents already asserted in the course of our litigation against Motorola, today’s actions bring to 25 the total number of Microsoft patents in litigation for infringement by Android smartphones, tablets and other devices. Microsoft is not a company that pursues litigation lightly. In fact, this is only our seventh proactive patent infringement suit in our 36-year history. But we simply cannot ignore infringement of this scope and scale.”

While Microsoft claims licensing is the solution, but still pursues lawsuits, then why hasn’t Microsoft locked legal horns with Google if Android allegedly violates its patents? The comments on that Microsoft blog are ripping into Microsoft. Is Microsoft just another patent troll? It would be nice to focus on innovating and move forward since this type of legal action stirs up some very anti-Microsoft sentiments.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is investigating reports of a vulnerability in all supported Microsoft Windows editions. According to a Microsoft Security Advisory, “the vulnerability could allow an attacker to cause a victim to run malicious scripts when visiting various Web sites, resulting in information disclosure. This impact is similar to server-side cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities. Microsoft is aware of published information and proof-of-concept code that attempts to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, at this time, Microsoft is aware of public proof-of-concept code being used in limited, targeted attacks.”

Google Online Security Blog previously announced that is working with Microsoft to develop a solution for the “publicly-disclosed MHTML vulnerability for which an exploit was publicly posted in January 2011. Users browsing with the Internet Explorer browser are affected.” Now Google has flat-out blamed the Chinese government for disrupting Gmail service. According to BBC, Google said it had found no technical issues, and blamed “a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail.” This is not the first time China has launched cyber-attacks against Google. Unsurprisingly, China denies any state involvement.

Google recommends users and corporations to deploy Microsoft’s temporary Fixit. Microsoft advised users to apply the Fix or manually “enable the NHTML protocol lockdown” work areound. But I wonder if an even better solution is to stop using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and go for Mozilla’s browser? Here is a cool glow map of Firefox 4 live downloads.

If you do go the Firefox 4 way, also consider adding EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere and the anonymizing proxy service GoogleSharing if you can’t handle slowing down to Tor speeds.

Like this? Check out these other posts:

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  • 4Chan Founder Moot: ‘Anonymity is authenticity,’ Zuckerberg ‘wrong’
  • Real ID: DHS National ID Nightmare that Won’t Die?
  • The Devil Is In The Details: DHS Monitoring Keywords & Social Media
  • Microsoft: Want Unrestricted Net Access? Need PC Health Certificate
  • Watchdog Group questions Google’s relationship with NSA
  • Former FBI Agent Turned ACLU Attorney: Feds Routinely Spy on Citizens
  • Watchdog to Obama: Schmidt policing online privacy is like Madoff heading SEC

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ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.