[OT Linux Patents] Microsoft takes on the free world

Gabriel Dragffy gabe at dragffy.com
Mon May 14 20:08:21 UTC 2007

On Mon, 2007-05-14 at 11:44 -0700, NoOp wrote:
> 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.
> <http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/05/28/100033867/index.htm>
> [http://preview.tinyurl.com/ypuxkg]
> <quote>
> 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.
>  .
>  .
>  .
> </quote>
> Related blog by the author:
> <http://legalpad.blogs.fortune.com/2007/05/13/msft-linux-free-software-infringe-235-of-our-patents/>
> [http://preview.tinyurl.com/36v6jr]
> <quote>
> 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
> products.)
> 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.
> </quote>

That's one of the most interesting articles I have read in a long time.
Do you know if there is some kind of mailing list for GNU or Linux that
discusses these matter? It would be very enlightening.
Gabriel Dragffy FdA BA(hons)

Websites by Gabe:

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