Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Oct 2007 16:14 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Microsoft Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has warned users of Red Hat Linux that they will have to pay Microsoft for its intellectual property. "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us," Ballmer said last week at a company event in London discussing online services in the UK.
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patents
by kurenai on Tue 9th Oct 2007 17:13 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

I fully believe in OSS and use linux as much as possible (server, my personal desktop, posting this from my windows work computer =/), and yet I also fully believe that it is possible or even likely that Linux is infringing on something MS owns. It would seem to me to be pretty darn easy to get something through that to us (the tech community) looks obvious, but looks innovative to a patent clerk. It also looks like a surefire way to stifle linux growth.

A basic plan:

1) patent every possible little part of your kernel
2) wait for linux developers to unwittingly violate the patent
3) sue distributions
4) profit

Completely legal and perfectly possible.

Reply Score: 1

RE: patents
by garymax on Tue 9th Oct 2007 18:34 in reply to "patents"
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

As soon as MS reveals what patents they think are being violated, the Linux community will start to point to prior art and quickly invalidate those claims.

MS doesn't stand a chance and I hope that Red Hat and others will finally call their bluff on this. Ballmer can only go around spreading FUD for so long before he has to back up his claims.

In the meantime, the penguin marches on unabated...

Edited 2007-10-09 18:36

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: patents
by borker on Tue 9th Oct 2007 18:47 in reply to "patents"
borker Member since:
2006-04-04

but of course you have to have a valid patent that stands up as novel, non-trivial and with out examples of prior art existing that is being knowingly violated and covers an area of code impossible to remove. The chances of that are extremely small.

- A LOT of the patents MS own are for either trivial technologies or ones that have ample bodies of prior art.
- There is almost nothing they can patent that can't be worked around or removed.
- And thats before OIN step in with it's portfolio to counter sue.
- And it ignores the mountains of bad press and publicity that would come from MS playing the patent troll game (it would be like SCO * 1000).
- And it would only apply in the US and a few countries unlucky enough to have agreed to US style patent frameworks.
- And it would probably spell the end of US style patent system with the fall out of a case like this.
- And it would deter the Europeans from ever putting one in place.

Reply Parent Score: 5