17 March 2010

Is Microsoft About to Declare Patent War on Linux?

Microsoft's comments on happenings outside its immediate product portfolio are rare, and all the more valuable when they do appear. Here's one from Horacio Gutierrez, “Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel”, entitled “Apple v. HTC: A Step Along the Path of Addressing IP Rights in Smartphones.”

On Open Enterprise blog.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't this just more sabre rattling from him? It seems that MS like to keep the water hot to spur their licensing deals and the Apple suit will probably help them. I've tended to think in the past that Microsoft chose the licensing tack rather than the lawsuit tack because it's harder for a monopolist to use the courts to suppress competition than it is to exact a fee for use of a competing product. Though most suits are settled rather than going the full distance, you get the feeling that the Tom-Tom settlement was more useful to Microsoft than actually going the full distance in court.

Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here.

glyn moody said...

That's certainly possible. But as I wrote, Microsoft might see this a unique opportunity to launch suits against everyone, with nice collateral damage to Linux. Apple's suit provides the pretext and precedent.

guy said...

Rather than start suing everyone I would think standard practice is to find an appropriate victim to single out as a example, like, as suggested, Tom-Tom --- big enough to be known by consumers, small enough to be unable to fight, and without a wider group of friends to stick by them. Then use the precedent.

glyn moody said...

@guy: sure - and then they'd try to get everyone to sign up. But that would still create FUD for free software...