MS: Open Source Violates 235 Patents

Michael Lindenberger

Well, they've been hinting at throwing their weight around in the open source world for months -- pretty much since cementing the now notorious patent pledge with Novell -- but now Microsoft and its attorneys are getting specific.

 

CNNMoney reports this morning that general counsel Brad Smith and licensing chief Horatio Gutierrez have revealed that, taken together, several popular open source programs violate 235 of Microsoft's patents. Drilling down, they say that the Linux kernel violates 42 MS patents, the Linux GUI infringes 65, OpenOffice.org treads upon 45, various open source e-mail programs violate 15, and other programs infringe an additional 68 patents.

 

What's more, they're intent on making the free and open source community pay for what it's allegedly taken. Recruiting other open source distributors to ink patent deals similar to the one with Novell is the first plan of attack, but that may not work for long. Will MS turn to suing open source users next?



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