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>The only way to know for sure would be to do a patent
>search, which is expensive.
OR you could do a Google search for ".NET patent" which is free and takes 0.38 seconds.
This would lead you to: http://news.com.com/2100-1001-984052.html -- ".Net patent could stifle standards effort"
The article links to a patent application entitled "Application program interface for network software platform", which seems reference such obscure things as System.Collections, System.Net.Sockets, System.Windows.Forms.
Well that was hard. Perhaps someone from Novell, preferable a patent lawyer, could address this patent application and how it affects Mono.