SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft Corp. broadened its attack on Google Inc.'s Android software, filing patent infringement lawsuits Monday against Barnes & Noble Inc. and two manufacturers over the Android-based Nook e-reader.
In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Microsoft is seeking triple damages based on willful and deliberate patent infringement, plus legal costs and an injunction against further infringement.
Microsoft said it also filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission, which has the power to bar imports of infringing products.
The Nook devices, which compete with Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle e-reader and various Sony Corp. devices, are based on Android, system software developed by Google first for smartphones and then for tablet computers. Microsoft also sued Motorola, a maker of Android-based smartphones, for patent infringement in October 2010. Motorola counter-sued in November.
Microsoft's lawsuits don't go after Google directly, but they could still hurt the Web search leader if device makers decide they don't want to pay to license Microsoft's technology or risk a legal tussle with the deep-pocketed software maker.
The suit also named Taiwanese manufacturers Inventec Corp. and Foxconn International Holdings Ltd.
On a company blog, Microsoft said that after a year of discussions, Barnes & Noble, Inventec and Foxconn, part of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., have been unwilling to sign a license.
"Our firm view remains, however, that licensing is the best way forward for the industry, and we will continue to prefer the licensing path to litigation." wrote Horacio Gutierrez, a Microsoft deputy general counsel.
Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating declined to comment on the litigation. Shares of Barnes & Noble added 37 cents to close at $9.26.