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Old 12-11-2006, 08:21 AM   #1
LXer
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LXer: Microsoft answers IP questions posed in LXer open letter


Published at LXer:

LXer Feature: 11-Dec-2006 Mid November, Steve Ballmer said "Linux"uses our [Microsoft Corp.] intellectual property" and "Microsoft Corp. wanted to "get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation." Many people didn't understand what he really meant, among them the LXer editors. Therefore, LXer sent an Open Letter to the Waggener Edstrom Rapid Response team, and two weeks later, the answers are in (no pun intended). Check the full story for the answers a Microsoft Spokesperson gave us, which hopefully can answer some of our questions. [ Note: The questions may be a bit clumsy, since sending them was a rather impulsive action. - hkwint ]

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Old 12-11-2006, 08:40 AM   #2
XavierP
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Quote:
LXer: Why does Microsoft Corp. never specify which Intellectual Property Linux infringes on? Is this because Microsoft Corp. doesn't know, is it because Microsoft Corp. is afraid its Intellectual Property isn't enforceable, or is there any other good reason for this? Why doesn't Microsoft Corp. tell to its shareholders for which Intellectual Property Microsoft wanted to "get the appropriate economic return"? This is important information for the shareholders.

MS: Through our agreement with Novell, Microsoft is providing access to thousands of patents. As is standard with most companies in this and indeed other industries, we do not publicly list the patents that are applicable to a product or by a component. One of the benefits of patent agreements is that they allow freedom of action now and in the future. Novell’s products and Microsoft’s products change on a regular basis and conducting a complete patent analyses for every version of every product is costly and complex. As we’ve stated, we undertook an analysis of our patent portfolio and concluded that it was necessary and important to create a patent covenant which Novell and Microsoft agreed on for the benefit of our customers.
This, and the rest of the responses, are a bit, erm, weaselly really. There are no clear cut answers and we are pretty much no further along than we were.

Are MS not willing to say which patents Linux allegedly infringes because they don't know themselves, because the patents (if tested) may need to be dropped, they are waiting to drop the shoe on us, or there aren't any?

Answers on a postcard.....
 
  


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