Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th May 2009 22:32 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Mono Project If there is one technology in the Linux world that ruffles feathers whenever it's mentioned, it's Mono, the open source .Net clone. Since .Net comes out of Microsoft, and has some patents encircling it, it is said to be a legal nightmare. Supposedly, you can obtain a "royalty-free, reasonable and non-discriminatory" license from Microsoft regarding the patents surrounding Mono. iTWire decided to look at just how easy (or hard) it is to get such a license. Turns out it's kind of hard.
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Lol
by oiaohm on Sun 31st May 2009 02:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Missing the point on license"
oiaohm
Member since:
2009-05-30

IF you want to start freaking out over it, consider where patented COM is used in Linux:

* Mozilla's XPCOM used in Thunderbird and Firefox.
* Songbird (XPCOM)
* VirtualBox (XPCOM again)
* OpenOffice's COM implementation (called "UNO")

The COM patent is here:
http://www.google.com/patents?id=YM4iAAAAEBAJ


UNO is prior art by the way. It existed in Staroffice and StarWriter before that. Predates MS using com and having com. Heck its almost pre dos. Did you not think it was strange it did not have com in its name. Universal Network Objects is a very old item. It one of the oldest design bits still in openoffice. Its over 20 years old.

This is part of the problem when you start thinking open source is at risk of a particular patent lot of cases you will find prior art that renders it useless.

Open source code infringing the Microsoft patent is here:

http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=queryinterface

Then there are the OpenGL patents that Microsoft bought from Silicon Graphics in 2002. They have owned all the OpenGL patents for the last seven years.


100 percent invalid. The Khronos Group holds a forever patent grant from Silicon Graphics for implementers of opengl. So those patents are useless. If someone wanted to create something non opengl as a graphics interface then MS could use them.

Edited 2009-05-31 02:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Lol
by xoluxo on Sun 31st May 2009 18:10 in reply to "Lol"
xoluxo Member since:
2009-05-31

I see you are engaged in more wishful thinking.

There is no doubt that COM was invented by Microsoft in 1993 according to the Wikipedia. According to Sun's copyright UNO was created in 2000.

Although developers used it for years, it was Don Box's tutorials from Develop Mentor and later his book "Essential COM" that popularized it (1997).

Both OpenOffice and Mozill'a implementations were inspired by this.

As for the ownership of the OpenGL patents: it does not matter what the previous owner promises, it is the new owner that dictates the rules for the patents. This is a major problem today with patents and the pledges made by the current owners. And an important space that must be regulated.

Patent troll pools are made up to some extent of purchased patents from companies looking to raise some cash. Usually a company in dire straits would contact some suitors first (IBM, Microsoft, Apple) to sell the patent to and if they fail, they put them on the open market. During bankruptcy trials, the patents are sold like any other asset in a bidding process, and the new owner has all the rights, regardless of the previous company's promises and pledges.

The patent trolls usually do not waste any time with their new patents and go and assert their rights with all of the companies that are known to implement the patent. They usually settle for small amounts of cash, as their business depends on a quick extort-and-run process, and not really on a long and prolonged lawsuit. They find the balance to be an amount that will make sense for both parties.

But Microsoft is not in the business of extracting singles or doubles from specific companies, so they do not pursue those patents. If they ever become desperate -as in SCO desperate- expect the patent issue to be raised more often with everyone using Linux or any other alternative operating system.

At that point there will be little to argue against. Microsoft has been in business for longer than most software companies and they got the patent religion some 10 years ago when they started to pursue patenting their own work more aggressively and buying them from third parties.

But if it makes you happier and makes it easier for you to fall asleep keep telling yourself that it was StarOffice that invented COM and that Microsoft paid 20 million dollars to SGI for nothing.

But if you were to follow this prior-art path, would it not be then be as safe to say ".NET is a clone of Java" and move on? Since .NET -gasp- is a Microsoft replica of it?

I expect your next reply to dance around the issue and take a dozen new tangents as you keep telling yourself "the world is flat".

Reply Parent Score: 3