Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:05 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Novell and Ximian At a press conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to announce a new partnership between Microsoft and Novell. The unprecedented deal will have Microsoft offering a degree of sales support for Novell's SUSE Linux while both companies work towards better interoperability between their respective operating systems. As part of the agreement, Microsoft also promises not to wield its patent portfolio against SUSE Linux. More here. You can follow the live webcast announcement, by Steve Ballmer, here. Update: Novell has put up a detailed FAQ about this deal.
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RE[4]: is
by drdoug on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: is"
drdoug
Member since:
2006-04-30

If you violate patents (and life in countries / jurisdrictions, that allow the patent holders to pursue you), then this assumption clearly does no longer apply. You would have to license the technology regardless of the license you plan to use for distribution.

The problem is that the patent could override the license. If the code has already been released, then it is up to the each distributor to comply/license to the patent. Eithen though the license tries to make it a collective licensing of a patent. It patent holder who dictates the terms on how the patent is licensed. It would be difficult to argue if say Microsoft sued Novell, that Novell should pay the license fee for every distributer breaking the patent.

One thing that Microsoft has made very clear from their language is that it wants similar agreements from other distributers. It looks like they think they have a good hand of cards to play, and they are now placing bets.

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