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Re: Microsoft going after Linux?

From: Rex Ballard
Subject: Re: Microsoft going after Linux?
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 17:20:28 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Feb 26, 7:02 pm, Rjack <> wrote:
> Rjack wrote:
> > "Microsoft has filed a suit against TomTom, 'alleging that the
> > in-car navigation company's devices violate eight of its patents
> > — including three that relate to TomTom's implementation of the
> > Linux kernel."

> >

Microsoft is taking a huge gamble here, because they could have all
8 patents nullified or even transferred to the creators of prior art.

The courts take a dim view of "first to file" based patent awards,
and this is especially true when the information was easily available
and widely published.  In some cases, the patent offices have even
decided that that the claims were wilfully fraudulent - because the
related prior art had not been listed.

Remember that failing to include known prior art in a patent
can result in nullification of the patent.  If it's too similar to the
prior art,
the patent could even be transferred to the original inventor.

Given that OSS has always been documented through revision
control systems, the change history could easily document a
MUCH earlier date of origination.

I would LOVE to see Microsoft go after Linux over specific patents,
and have those patents, critical to Microsoft's products, turned over
to Richard Stallman, because it showed up in the GNU project 3-4
years earlier.

Stallman would probably demand that Microsoft place ALL of their
source code into GPL or LGPL.

> "Plan for the Worst

> The Linux Foundation is working closely with our partner the Open
> Invention Network, and our members, and is well prepared for any
> claims against Linux. We have great confidence in the foundation
> they have laid. Unfortunately, claims like these are a by-product of
> our business and legal system today. For now, we are closely
> watching the situation and will remain ready to mount a Linux’s
> defense, should the need arise."


That's a dangerous crowd to mess with.  With their massive archive of
carefully documented changes to millions, even billions of lines of
code, available almost immediately, Microsoft could easily find
losing everything.

Worse, Microsoft could end up trying to enforce a patent against
that had not only been INVENTED earlier but was REJECTED due to
inherent security problems.

DHCP is RARP.  The dynamic generation and assignment from a pool was
rejected because it created such a security risk - because the
assigned addresses couldn't be properly tracked and audited to
properly identidy hackers.  This is still a problem, especially in
corporate networks, and especially with the ability to clone a MAC

Many of Microsodft's "innovations" are similar "security holes".

> Sincerely,
> Rjack :)

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