Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Jun 2007 15:01 UTC, submitted by AdministratorX
Microsoft In its second such agreement this week, Microsoft has struck a deal under which it will extend amnesty to a company that's using what the software maker claims is patented Microsoft intellectual property embedded in the open source Linux computer operating system. Under a deal with LG Electronics, disclosed late Wednesday, Microsoft will forgo any Linux-related patent claims against the South Korean electronics manufacturer. In return, Microsoft will gain access to certain intellectual property produced by LG.
Thread beginning with comment 246304
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: interesting...
by tomcat on Fri 8th Jun 2007 16:50 UTC in reply to "interesting..."
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Excellent points. The fact of the matter is that we don't know what MS showed to LG, Novell, and other companies. It was all done under NDA, naturally, so it's pretty silly for people to assume that they know everything there is to know about these deals, that Microsoft is bluffing, the companies are corrupt/weak, yadda, yadda, yadda. Not to mention that there are mutual interests between the parties at stake here (ie. cross-licensing of technology, etc) that may have nothing to do with the issues that people are discussing here.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: interesting...
by sappyvcv on Fri 8th Jun 2007 17:11 in reply to "RE: interesting..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

But Microsoft is evil

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: interesting...
by ubit on Fri 8th Jun 2007 18:24 in reply to "RE: interesting..."
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

It's done under NDA so people can't code around the patents AS MANY FS program have done in the past, or be able to call them out as obvious, or find prior art. The Supreme Court in the US has taken a very dim view on patents recently.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: interesting...
by archiesteel on Fri 8th Jun 2007 18:25 in reply to "RE: interesting..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

All the time they spend *not* identifying which patents Linux allegedly infringes on actually weakens their case. There is an accepted legal principle in IP law that the plaintiff must mitigate damages, i.e. that it must inform the alleged infringer as soon as possible in order to minimize the impact of the infringement.

So far, MS has made vague allegations but it hasn't revealed anything specific to those it holds responsible for the alleged infringement. That's a good indication that they don't believe their case is strong enough to litigate.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: interesting...
by sappyvcv on Fri 8th Jun 2007 18:49 in reply to "RE[2]: interesting..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

"There is an accepted legal principle in IP law that the plaintiff must mitigate damages, i.e. that it must inform the alleged infringer as soon as possible in order to minimize the impact of the infringement."

Bolded the key part. We don't know what they showed Novell, Xandros or LG.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: interesting...
by tomcat on Sun 10th Jun 2007 00:24 in reply to "RE[2]: interesting..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

All the time they spend *not* identifying which patents Linux allegedly infringes on actually weakens their case. There is an accepted legal principle in IP law that the plaintiff must mitigate damages, i.e. that it must inform the alleged infringer as soon as possible in order to minimize the impact of the infringement.

The door swings both ways, I'm afraid. By not identifying any infringing technology -- but nonetheless advancing vague claims of infringement -- Microsoft can argue specific infringements later on without prejudice.

So far, MS has made vague allegations but it hasn't revealed anything specific to those it holds responsible for the alleged infringement. That's a good indication that they don't believe their case is strong enough to litigate.

Litigation is the option of last resort. You don't automatically default to it. Personally, I think they're much better off negotiating with various Linux companies than going to court.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: interesting...
by trenchsol on Sun 10th Jun 2007 01:03 in reply to "RE[2]: interesting..."
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

No, this is a good indication that Microsoft has no intention to go to court, just as they said more than once.

Far as I understand, this is not so much about Linux and accompanying applications. It is just an initiative to establish mutualy agreed patent protection. I am FreeBSD user, and those patents might address FreeBSD, too, but I am not worried at all.

I don't think that there is a reason to worry for anybody. People making noise about the deals are just Microsoft haters who can't stand to see their favourite software being involved. It is purely ideological/religious.

Reply Parent Score: 1