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Google says Microsoft patent lawsuit threatens innovation

Microsoft alleges patent infringement; co-defendant Foxconn calls the action 'routine'

By Ralph Jennings, IDG News Service
March 22, 2011 07:18 AM ET

IDG News Service - Google took a slap at Microsoft on Tuesday, saying the software giant's patent lawsuit against bookseller Barnes & Noble's Android-based e-reader stifles innovation.

Microsoft sued in U.S. District Court on Monday, alleging that the bookseller's Nook e-readers that run Google's Android mobile OS violate several Microsoft patents.

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Google would not say whether it would offer support to the defendant, but it took issue with the case.

"Sweeping software patent claims like Microsoft's threaten innovation," Google said in a statement. "While we are not a party to this lawsuit, we stand behind the Android platform and the partners who have helped us to develop it."

A co-defendant in the lawsuit, the electronics manufacturer Foxconn International Holdings, was studying the claim on Tuesday before deciding how to respond. So far it was unfazed.

"These things are very common practice in the industry," an official from the company's Taiwan headquarters said. "This is a routine matter."

Fellow co-defendant Inventec, also a hardware manufacturer in Taiwan, said on Tuesday it was reviewing the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.

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