EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.17.06

I thought Novell said there were no Infractions

Posted in Deals, FUD, GPL, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, Steve Ballmer at 12:24 am by Shane Coyle

Or so it was stated in their FAQ on the MS Deal. Of course, as always with any story, there is Mr Ballmer’s take on the deal:

“Novell pays us some money for the right to tell customers that anybody who uses SUSE Linux is appropriately covered,” Ballmer said. This “is important to us, because [otherwise] we believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”

“Only customers that use SUSE have paid properly for intellectual property from Microsoft,” he said. “We are willing to do a deal with Red Hat and other Linux distributors.” The deal with SUSE Linux “is not exclusive,” Ballmer added.

Of course, as usual, no one cuts to the core of the subject better than PJ at Groklaw:

“Let him sue if he thinks he has a valid claim, and we’ll see how well his customers like it.”

Jones also challenged Ballmer to “put his money where his mouth is” and detail exactly what part of the Linux kernel source code allegedly infringes upon Microsoft patents, so that “folks will strip out the code and work around it or prove his patent invalid.”

And so it begins, the gauntlet is down – who draws the first MS lawsuit? Red Hat? Oracle? EDU-Nix? Let us all remember who it is that is complicit in this FUD campaign, Novell’s self-serving deal legitimizes Microsoft’s assault on Linux.

If successful, Microsoft will create a landscape in the Operating System market that consists of themselves and MS-approved ‘competitors’ which pay royalties to MS in perpetuity, all others are sued into oblivion.

Regardless of the technical wording of the deal, and whether it can be established that Novell is violating the letter of the GPL 2, they are certainly violating its spirit, Novell must not be supported.

Update: More in depth on Ballmer’s exact words , including an MP3.

What we were able to craft, with a lot of hard work with Novell, was an agreement essentially where we would do the technical work in a variety of different areas to improve interoperability between the two environments. And we agreed on a, we call it an IP bridge, essentially an arrangement under which they pay us some money for the right to tell the customer that anybody who uses Suse Linux is appropriately covered. There will be no patent issues. They’ve appropriately compensated Microsoft for our intellectual property, which is important to us. In a sense you could say anybody who has got Linux in their data center today sort of has an undisclosed balance sheet liability, because it’s not just Microsoft patents. Because of the way open-source works, there’s nobody who’s been able to do patent coverage or patent indemnification behind that.

So, its an IP Bridge, not a patent cross license agreement, nothing to do with patents all you GPLers, really. Novell paid MS to be able to say that SuSE is not infringing, and MS paid Novell to say that Linux is. The relative sizes of the payments should tell you who had to be convinced.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

4 Comments

  1. John Bailo said,

    November 17, 2006 at 1:30 am

    Gravatar

    Congratulations…you are now attacking the one good thing that OSS has produced, Suse, a distro that is easily installed, has all the drivers and actually lets you play a dvd without having to take a post-doc at MIT.

    The whole thing sounds like jealously to me. One of the ‘distroes’ was picked to go to the big city and become famous, and the others sit back at farm and carp.

  2. john said,

    November 17, 2006 at 5:09 am

    Gravatar

    linux is a cheap ripoff of windows.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 17, 2006 at 8:59 am

    Gravatar

    Bailo, get back to your stocks.

  4. Jed said,

    November 17, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Gravatar

    Fud is best when its non-specific.

    MS wont name the code, just like SCO, its the cloud over Linux they want, not to play their cards (which may be dubious patents if there even are any).

    BTW..I don’t think you guys will get the 200 Million.

What Else is New


  1. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  2. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  3. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  4. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  5. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  6. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  7. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  8. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  9. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  10. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  11. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  12. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  14. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  15. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  16. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  17. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  18. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  19. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  20. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  22. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  23. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  24. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  25. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  26. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  27. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence



  28. Turkey Subjected to the European Patent Convention (EPC) But Benoît Battistelli is Not?

    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  29. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  30. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts