Samsung, the world’s largest maker of memory chips, said in a filing with the Korea Exchange that the agreement with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc covers HDD patents by International Business Machines Corp and Hitachi. Japanese electronics conglomerate Hitachi bought IBM’s disk drive operations in 2002 for $2 billion.
As you can see, IBM is indirectly involved and the same would go for Lenovo in a separate context. It is worth raising a couple of issues now:
- Dell sells PCs with SLED preloaded, but only in China. Microsoft gets paid for these sales of GNU/Linux, thanks to our friends at Novell.
- Similarly, Lenovo, which bought a business unit from IBM and is based in China, seems to favour the use of SLED. Once again, Microsoft gets paid for software it has nothing to do with.
- Hitachi (and IBM by association) are said to be engaged in a patent deal with Samsung. Samsung also signed a patent deal that involved Linux.
Ever since Samsung signed a patent deal with Microsoft — a deal whose statement included and mentioned Linux by name — we’ve wondered what the vague descriptions (or non-descriptions) actually meant [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19]. For instance, we suspected that phones using Mono had something to do with this. Yes, Samsung uses some Mono on some of its smartphones. Whether the Linux kernel was also involved in cross-licensing or not, it was hard to tell at the time. It was probably never discussed either because the patents seem mythical. █