For the most part, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has found the mobile industry willing to bow to its patent-licensing strategy. Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) decided to dig in and fight and it could be poised to score a point.
The staff attorney for the International Trade Commission plans to recommend to the judge overseeing the case that Barnes & Noble did not infringe Microsoft’s mobile patents with the Nook, according to a report by Bloomberg. This is an extremely preliminary development: the judge overseeing the case can decide whatever he likes when he issues his ruling in April, and that decision can be further appealed to a panel of ITC judges.
But the ITC, while a speedier venue for patent rulings than the court system, has not really rewarded patent holders seeking infringement rulings. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) was able to get a final ruling against HTC, but for a minor piece of its smartphones that HTC has already said it can work around. Microsoft was able to get a preliminary ruling against Motorola (NYSE: MMI), but on only one of the seven patents it wanted to assert against Motorola.