Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Microsoft vs. Open Source: Setting the Battle Lines

Richard Fontana, counsel for the SFLC (Software Freedom Law Center), which works with the Free Software Foundation, said he "suggests that it is Microsoft's proprietary software that is full of IP risk, and not Linux or FOSS [free and open-source software]. In the past three years alone, Microsoft has publicly paid out more than $4 billion dollars in settlements and court awards for alleged infringements of other companies' patents. And if any of Microsoft's own patents are not novel and non-obvious, that means that Microsoft's purported IP includes property it does not actually have any right to own—property that has essentially been misappropriated from earlier inventors, or from the public."

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