Monday, 14 May, 2007 Technology

Open-Source Infringes 235 Patents, Microsoft States


The officials from the software giant Microsoft state that the open-source software infringes more than 230 of patents.

Brad Smith, Microsoft top lawyer, stated that the kernel of Linux open-source violates 42 patents and at the same time the users interface along with some other design elements violate another 65 patents. In addition, according to Fortune, is charged of violating 45 plus 83 more in other open-source programs.

Till this moment experts cannot find a way to explain how the software giant is going to proceed in enforcing the violated patents. However, Microsoft started encouraging tech firms, that are currently running on Linux, to accept the patent deals.

The company has also had several discussions with Red Hat, however, it was unsuccessful in reaching a deal with it.

According to Fortune, some big tech firms using the open source have been collecting intellectual property as component of the Open Invention Network, which was established in 2005 by several companies, including: Sony, Red Hat, IBM, NEC and Philips.

The Fortune article assumes that in case the software giant will pursue open source, the combined know-how of the companies mentioned above can give it a few patent weapons to go after Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Taking into consideration the power of the open-source software in the computing industry, it will be quite hard for Microsoft to take direct legal action against it. It is also worth mentioning that many major computing companies, including IBM, Dell, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and Oracle are the ones to support Linux work directly.

Although the Open Invention Network represents a somewhat young effort, in 2007 it was able to attract participation from Oracle and Linux support seller Canonical. Any company can license the patents of the network free of charge, that is, however, if they promise not to declare any claims on patents against the ones involved in "the Linux environment".

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