Fwd: Re: [clug] FOSS patent infringements

Sam Couter sam at couter.id.au
Wed May 16 10:11:32 GMT 2007

Simon Pascal Klein <4pascal at tpg.com.au> wrote:
> Simply MS, other than frightening us and reminding the consumer world
> that they own they still have a good grip on the software landscape, is
> in their own interest not to actually follow these threats of possible
> lawsuits.


Microsoft has a whole host of problems if it actually tries to sue for
patent infringment:

 - They'll get the Mutually Assured Destruction thing happening. RedHat
and others will find patents Microsoft infringes on. What would be
really scary for Microsoft is if IBM decided to join the party.

 - Any patents that Microsoft claims are being infringed will be
challenged, and many invalidated.

 - Any patents that survive will be worked around so they're no longer
relevant anyway.

The "You infringe on my patents! We'll sue!" threat is completely empty.
It's a bluff. It can't actually be used without massive collateral
damage and unacceptable casualties. Its purpose is to instead frighten
large risk-averse and perhaps technically naive organisations away from
Free Software and hopefully towards Microsoft. And for that purpose,
it actually has some small amount of power.
Sam Couter         |  mailto:sam at couter.id.au
                   |  jabber:sam at teknohaus.dyndns.org
OpenPGP fingerprint:  A46B 9BB5 3148 7BEA 1F05  5BD5 8530 03AE DE89 C75C
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