Monday, November 20, 2006

Folks Still Want Proof that Linux Infringes Microsoft Patents

Don't get me wrong. I admire Mary Jo Foley a lot. She says it the way she sees it. However, I must disagree with her in "More on Microsoft's need to show (if it can) Linux's patent infringement" post:
"What I felt Friday still holds: I think Ballmer & Co. must do more than continue to make saber-rattling FUD-filled claims regarding Linux's supposed infringement on Windows patents. The form that proof takes is up for debate. But the requirement for it remains."
We know that Microsoft and Novell reached an agreement on the patent infringement issue. As far as I am aware, the patents involved in that agreement have not been disclosed. Negotiations of this nature are held between attorneys, not CEO's. It is even likely that Mr. Ballmer is not aware of which claims from which patents have been under discussion with Red Hat and other Linux distributors. That is the job of the attorneys, not the CEO.

In the event that an agreement is not reached, then we may indeed find out which patent claims are involved -- when/if a patent infringement suit is filed by Microsoft.
In the meantime, I disagree that Microsoft needs to provide the proof to the public but rather to the Red Hat and other Linux distributors.

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