03.22.07

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Microsoft’s Newest Patent Deal

Posted in Deals, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents at 2:27 pm by Shane Coyle

and they can’t help but mention open source and Linux

Microsoft has inked a patent cross-license agreement with Fuji Xerox, allowing each company access to the others patent portfolio.

As has become customary, the specific details and financial terms are not being disclosed at this time, the release does note that there are both "monetary and non-monetary" provisions that allow both companies to receive compensation from their patent portfolios"

Fuji Xerox, which is owned by FUJIFILM Holdings Corp. and Xerox Corp., is a leading investor in Research and Development (R&D) related to document management systems and maintains a broad patent portfolio, including patents in the United States and in Japan. Like Fuji Xerox, Microsoft has a long history of R&D and maintains many patents related to software and computer hardware innovations.

Through the agreement, Fuji Xerox will obtain access to Microsoft patents for Fuji Xerox’s existing and future product lines, including products that incorporate proprietary source and open source software, such as Linux. Likewise, Microsoft will gain access to Fuji Xerox patents for Microsoft’s existing and future proprietary product lines, including Microsoft Office. The agreement contains monetary and non-monetary provisions that allow both companies to receive compensation from their patent portfolios. The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed at this time.

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2 Comments

  1. gpl1 said,

    March 22, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Gravatar

    as long as the patents pass through to all distributers of the GPLd software (unlike the Novell deal), I don’t see a problem with it. It’s not clear to me whether that’s happening in this case…

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 23, 2007 at 1:58 am

    Gravatar

    Worth adding here are some legal battles from the past:

    Is Microsoft infringing upon Xerox, Apple and Unix intellectual property?

    Intellectual Property is a term widely abused in the software industry by firms such as Microsoft and SCO using it to scare people into not using certain products in favor of their own. This disparaging tactic has even been given a name: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). It seemst hat anyone nowadays can make bold, unsubstantiated claims of IP infringement without actually having any proof simply to hurt another products reputation and destroy healthy competition. In this article, we will explore what intellectual property is and why every computeru ser should care when unreputable companies abuse legal systems in order to gain an unfair business advantage.

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