Open Buddha

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Microsoft Claims That Linux Violates 235 Patents

I just found this article from Fortune over at CNN Money. It will be in the May 28, 2007 issue of Fortune magazine. Microsoft is claiming that Linux violates 235 of its patents and it is investigating options for suing companies that use open source software.

From the article:

"At the same time, Smith was having Microsoft's lawyers figure out how many of its patents were being infringed by free and open-source software. Gutierrez refuses to identify specific patents or explain how they're being infringed, lest FOSS advocates start filing challenges to them. But he does break down the total number allegedly violated - 235 - into categories. He says that the Linux kernel - the deepest layer of the free operating system, which interacts most directly with the computer hardware - violates 42 Microsoft patents. The Linux graphical user interfaces - essentially, the way design elements like menus and toolbars are set up - run afoul of another 65, he claims. The Open Office suite of programs, which is analogous to Microsoft Office, infringes 45 more. E-mail programs infringe 15, while other assorted FOSS programs allegedly transgress 68."

We’ll have to see if anyone at Microsoft has the balls (and stupidity) to actually open up this can of worms.