Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Microsoft’s Got Nothin’ – The Patent “War” Against Linux

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Legal

In the last three years, Microsoft claims to have entered into over 600 licensing agreements with companies small and large over alleged patent violations in "Linux". One consistent feature of all these agreements is that their contents are unknown. No one, other than Microsoft and the relevant "licensee", knows which parts of "Linux" violate which patents. Another consistent feature is that most of the "licensees" are small companies without the resources to take on Microsoft in a patent claim. However, there are a number of larger or more high profile companies that have also entered into such agreements, including Amazon, Novell, Xandros, Turbolinux, TomTom and most recently HTC. The whole situation is clouded in mystery under a veil of PR speak and mumbo jumbo. So what the hell is going on? What can we deduce from what we know so far?

The Who

The identity of the companies that have entered into these arrangements is an important factor to consider. Most of the companies involved are small, and presumably have small, or non-existent patent portfolios; basically companies vulnerable to attack by a company with the financial power, and massive patent portfolio, of Microsoft. These are companies that, when faced with a patent claim by Microsoft, will happily enter into a "friendly" licensing agreement, rather than risk death by a thousand patent wielding lawyers.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

No Ubuntu Back Doors, Windows and Mac Migrations

Today in Linux news Microsoft's market share has dipped below 90% and Mac is disappearing from Linux conventions. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said in an interview today that security and encryption are a commitment of Ubuntu's. Jesse Smith reviewed the latest version of Ubuntu and OMG!Ubuntu! shared some glimpses of Ubuntu in the wild. Bryan Lunduke listed 12 "Linux geeks" all users should follow on social media and Sandra Gittlen highlighted six colleges that "immerse students in Open Source." Read more

pfSense 2.3 Open-Source BSD Firewall Gets Patch That Fixes NTP Security Issues

pfSense developer Chris Buechler announced the availability of a small update for the stable pfSense 2.3 open-source firewall platform based on the FreeBSD operating system. Introduced as pfSense 2.3 Update 1, this is a small patch that only fixes the recently discovered security issues in the Network Time Protocol (NTP) packages, upgrading them from version 4.2.8p6 to 4.2.8p7, and it shouldn't be confused with pfSense 2.3.1, which will be released in the coming weeks as the first maintenance build. Read more

Contributing to open source software with Ian Varley of Salesforce

With open source, you're expanding the sphere of people who might potentially care a lot about your code. You find others who have similar problems, and who can leverage your work and maybe even extend it. The knowledge that you've helped someone avoid "rebuilding the wheel" is really gratifying, and it's amplified when those people actually start getting so involved that they give you contributions of code or ideas. The project picks up steam, and you might even get unforeseen help tackling those issues you didn't have bandwidth to tackle yourself. Really, it's the gift that keeps on giving. Read more

IPFire 2.19 Core Update 101 Patches Cross-Site-Scripting Vulnerability in Web UI

The development team behind the IPFire software have announced the general availability of the Core Update 101 of the IPFire 2.19 Linux kernel-based firewall distribution. Read more