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04.16.08

Patent Bomb in a Ribbon-Cladded Box Available for Download from Novell

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 9:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ferrari laptop
Advertising Microsoft products in exchange for Ferrari-branded laptops

Leaving opinionated comments in YouTube is quite a big gamble not only because Microsoft sends its marketers over there to post viral videos and secretly advocate Microsoft products, but also because you get rebuttals from unknown individuals, who might be affiliated with companies that attack your convictions (or you, personally). It’s like Slashdot in a way. A couple of days ago the following comment came up in a video about Moonlight:

The merger lasts for 4 more years. The patent covenants last for 20+ years. This was guaranteed by Microsoft and Novell by a clause in the merger.

Okay, so what appears to be new here, if true at all, is that Novell’s deal with Microsoft is a “merger”. It’s not, unless Microsoft and Novell are not telling us something. Moreover, where does the “20+ years” duration come from? Bear in mind that this video is about Moonlight, so it’s possible that a Novell employee (Mono/Moonlight developer) is that who responded.

Apart from licensing messiness and Novell’s violation of the GPL, at least by spirit, what can one conclude here? The comment which is quoted above is hopefully false in every sense. The last thing one needs is a software patent mess in an over-the-Web delivered component such as Silverlight. Even Miguel de Icaza denounced this. Yes, he protested against his own foolishness.

In case you think this is harmless because Microsoft doesn’t attack, watch what its close ally Intel has just done. Having just suffered a major slump in profits, Intel is suing. It’s also being sued over patents.

In the first case, Intel is being sued by one Philip Jackson for allegedly breaching a patent he owns. The patent in question is 4,596,900 which has the snappy title of “Phone Line Linkted Tone Operated Control Device.

Novell appears to have chosen to become part of this ‘lawsuits club’. But why? To gain competitive advantage that is based on fear, the greatest driver known to human kind.

“I’m not happy about the fact that such an agreement was made [with Microsoft], but was above my pay grade.”

Miguel de Icaza, Novell

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A Single Comment

  1. Logan said,

    April 16, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s impossible to debunk every imbecile in existence. Do you know how many people are in the world? Do you know how it would take to inform and clarify even 10% of them. Even if they cared, they don’t. It’s an impossible quest my friend. Let it go. Concentrate on promoting your views, forget about the morons, the fanboys, the apologists, the lowest of the low of mankind, people that don’t defend anything at all, but always ready to kiss rear end of others. They’re are worse than sheeppeople. Yes men, and yes women. I spit on them. They have nothing to give to mankind!

    And Novell…, forget about them too. Stop give them free advertising. Traitors and hypocrites. Are there any olive trees in the USA?

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