Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Jul 2011 20:58 UTC, submitted by fran
Linux It's strange. Microsoft has been patent trolling the heck out of the Linux kernel for a long time now, and is still using these patents against Android today in its protection money scheme. However, as LWN.net illustrates, Microsoft makes quite a few contributions to the Linux kernel. Shouldn't this invalidate their patent claims?
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RE[2]: Patents
by Laurence on Mon 18th Jul 2011 10:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I don't think Thom was implying that their patent claims would be running afoul of GPL patent provisions.

Rather, it's that they can't seriously complain about patent infringement by the Linux project when they themselves are a major contributor to that project. Their contributions may not be related to the areas in question, but it's still bad for the credibility of any patent claims they might make...

If credibility of patent was an issue, then the US patent system wouldn't be in half the mess it is now.

* You wouldn't have Apple suing over evolutionary patents which have stacks of prior art.
* You wouldn't have HTC buying other companies for their patent portfolio.
* ...and You wouldn't have patent trolls trying to cash in on others successes.

The problem with the patent system -and to a lesser extend, laws in general- is it's not about credibility and hasn't been for some time. It's about clever posturing of legal and technical jargon to manipulate a legal broken system into favoring yourself over your opponents.

Edited 2011-07-18 10:42 UTC

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