Finally, some facts…
Open-source advocate Bruce Perens said he would be looking to see exactly what Novell was given through the deal and whether there is any requirement for the Linux vendor to defend Microsoft’s patent claims. “What I’m actually looking for is, to what extent was there a violation of faith?” he said.
Microsoft has claimed that Linux violates more than 235 of its patents, and because the deal offers patent protection to Novell users, it is seen as potentially driving a wedge in the Linux community. “Novell had a choice here, and Novell’s choice was to be in the same boat with the rest of the free software community, or not,” Perens said.
Based on an initial reading of the documents, Perens said the deal does not appear to provide full patent protection to Linux users. “Novell did not get complete rights regarding Microsoft patents,” he said. “For example, office productivity applications are specifically excluded. … OpenOffice.org is excluded by name, WINE and Open-Xchange are excluded by name,”