Microsoft Can't Resist: Ramps Up FUD On Linux Patent Pressure Again

from the gotta-keep-people-afraid dept

Apparently, Microsoft’s new strategy against open source is to keep repeating over and over again that open source software violates patents. This is a practice the company started years ago, and repeated earlier this year, with Microsoft execs ominously saying that open source products violate Microsoft patents. Of course, Microsoft has yet to show a single patent where this is true or actually do anything to prove it’s true in a court of law. Perhaps that’s because it knows the backlash would be a lot stronger than what was seen against SCO (who eventually failed in following a similar strategy). But, that won’t stop Steve Ballmer from repeating the threats that Microsoft could sue the likes of Red Hat at any moment for patent infringement. This time, he lobbed in an extra suggestion as well: that open source providers may also face lawsuits from the likes of Eolas, the patent holder that Microsoft recently settled with. Folks from the open source community have asked Microsoft to put up or shut up before — and it doesn’t seem like the company plans to do either thing. Little surprise, really, since apparently the strategy of making people afraid works. The biggest reason companies avoid using open source software is an irrational fear of opening themselves up to patent liability. Still, this is another clear misuse of the patent system to hold back innovation in the market by making companies far and wide afraid of adopting innovation. That’s not what the patent system was intended to do at all.

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Comments on “Microsoft Can't Resist: Ramps Up FUD On Linux Patent Pressure Again”

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10 Comments
Hidden Force says:

Force Microsoft Into Court

Maybe Red Hat should take MS to court for libeling them with false statements claiming that Linux is “stealing MS’s IP and make MS prove what they are claiming.

And while we’re tying up the courts, maybe BSD should take MS to court for the code it uses in its IP stack (I think that’s where it was), copyright and all.

Anonymous Coward says:

No one will ever take this to court. This would be the mother of all patent cases. You’d see money coming from IBM, Google, Yahoo, Sun, Intel, and a slew of other companies pouring into the defense of Linux. Too many large companies have invested in Linux. All of them have contributed code to the cause and can’t afford to see it lose. On the other end, you’d see MS. No one, absolutely no one, wants to see this one go to court. Not MS, not OS who depend on the goodwill of the other companies above for support, no one. No matter who wins, it would change how business in the tech industry is done.

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