Open Source

Microsoft: Royalties or royal pain?

Microsoft patent dispute with open sourceIn the most recent battle between open-source and proprietary software, Microsoft goes for the jugular by claiming that free and open-source software violates 235 of its patents. See the article from CNET Networks' "Report: Microsoft says open source violates 235 patents."

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"In an interview with Fortune, Microsoft top lawyer Brad Smith alleges that the Linux kernel violates 42 Microsoft patents, while its user interface and other design elements infringe on a further 65. is accused of infringing 45, along with 83 more in other free and open-source programs, according to Fortune. It is not entirely clear how Microsoft might proceed in enforcing these patents..."

For more information about Microsoft patent violations by open-source software, check out these other news takes:

Microsoft, which is usually on the other end of patent disputes, certainly isn't making any friends in the open source community. Do you think Microsoft is just in its claims and should receive royalties, or will this stab at open source turn people off and become a virtual nail in Microsoft's coffin? Join the discussion.


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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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