[OT Linux Patents] Microsoft takes on the free world

NoOp glgxg at mfire.com
Mon May 14 18:44:34 UTC 2007

With apologies to the list for not being technical support related...
"Ubuntu user technical support, not for general discussions"
(I can't find a "general discussions" list on
https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/). I suppose that this could
become technical support related in the near future...

Rather interesting article in Fortune/CNNMoney.com whereby Microsoft is
claiming that linux & other free software violates 235 of it's patents.

Microsoft takes on the free world
Microsoft claims that free software like Linux, which runs a big chunk
of corporate America, violates 235 of its patents. It wants royalties
from distributors and users. Users like you, maybe. Fortune's Roger
Parloff reports.

Related blog by the author:

Still, 235 is a lot of alleged infringements. “This is not a case of
some accidental, unknowing infringement,” says Microsoft’s licensing
chief, Horacio Gutierrez. “There is an overwhelming number of patents
being infringed.” By comparison, for example, Verizon’s (VZ) patent suit
against Vonage (VG) was based on seven patents, of which just three were
found to infringe. In the story, Gutierrez, breaks down that figure into
the following categories:

1. The Linux kernel allegedly infringes 42 Microsoft patents. (The
kernel is the deepest layer of the operating system, which interacts
most directly with the hardware.)

2. The Linux user interfaces allegedly infringe 65 patents. (The user
interfaces are the way design elements, like menus and toolbars, are set
up to promote easy and intuitive use.)

3. The Open Office programs allegedly infringe 45 patents. (This a suite
of free software programs analogous to Microsoft’s Office, including,
for instance, word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software,
which perform functions like Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint

4. Free email programs allegedly infringe 15 patents.

5. Other assorted free software programs that are frequently included in
Linux distributions allegedly violate another 68 patents.

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list