Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Dec 2006 19:54 UTC, submitted by John Mills
Linux "Mid November, Steve Ballmer said 'Linux uses our intellectual property' and Microsoft wanted to 'get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation.' Many people didn't understand what he really meant, among them the LXer editors. Therefore, LXer sent an Open Letter to the Waggener Edstrom Rapid Response team, and two weeks later, the answers are in (no pun intended). Check the full story for the answers a Microsoft Spokesperson gave us, which hopefully can answer some of our questions."
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RE: This proves it....
by japh on Tue 12th Dec 2006 08:50 UTC in reply to "This proves it...."
japh
Member since:
2005-11-11

"Microsoft has no idea what Linux infringes upon. If they did, it would have been made a lawsuit by now.. and the Linux community would have removed the offending code immediately"

I'm not so sure about that. There is really no good outcome for Microsoft if they would start a lawsuit.
What can happen is:
1. Their patent is proven to be invalid.
2. Their patent is valid and the code in Linux will be changed. Possibly a bit of cash will find its way to Microsoft.

In the end, the signal to the world is: "Patent problems with Linux solved. There's nothing to worry about."

No, what is valuable for Microsoft is that people believe that there MIGHT be problems and that there MIGHT be a lawsuit.
They have nothing to gain by showing any evidence and suing some Linux company might turn out to be a PR disaster.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: This proves it....
by Gone fishing on Tue 12th Dec 2006 09:51 in reply to "RE: This proves it...."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Possibly your right, however I find the arguments used here http://www.msversus.org/microsoft-patents.html quite convincing.

I'll Quote a little

[There are many patents held by Microsoft which should have been denied due to the existance of prior art or because they're self-evident and are not true inventions as defined by U.S. patent law:

* Double-clicking a button
* Grouping task bar buttons
* Two-way scroll mouse
* Task list generated for software developers
* Using the human body as a conductive medium for power and data (much prior art done by research labs)
* The equivalent of the sudo Unix command as old as at least 1980

The patents might seem frivolous, but all it takes is the threat of litigation to put small and medium companies out of business. A company or individual usually can't afford a defense fund if Microsoft were to decide to enforce licensing.]

And of course as MS has 5000 other patents some will be a real problem. I think I'll finish by quoting Bill Gates (again taken from the above website)

"If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today." - Bill Gates, Challenges and Strategy Memo. 16 May 1991 I think that partly somes up my feelings.

Reply Parent Score: 2