Following the ‘Novell model’
“This agreement encompasses a broad range of patents contained in printers and multi-functional products (MFPs), as well as certain Linux-based technologies. Specifically, Brother’s Linux-based embedded devices will be covered through Microsoft’s direct customer patent covenants, a similar model to the agreement between Novell and Microsoft,” a spokesperson for the Redmond company told Softpedia.
Neither of the parties involved discussed the exact terms of the agreement…
For context, see this post from yesterday. It sure seems like Novell ‘set the standards’ — so to speak — as far as selling out to Microsoft and hurting Linux is concerned. People have predicted this from the very beginning (November 2006) when they warned that Novell had set bad precedence.
Only gullible companies or corruptible managers would sign such deals with Microsoft. LinuxDevices explains why.
However, if Linux impinges any Microsoft patents, the Redmond Giant has not come out and said so. Instead, Microsoft officials from time to time allude to possible patent infringements, presumably to create “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” (FUD) about its open source competitor.
For example, in 2007, Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith asserted that Linux violates 42 Microsoft patents. However, in SCO-like fashion, the lawyer did not say which ones were actually violated. This led Linux creator Linus Torvalds to quip, “If MS actually wanted us to not infringe their patents, they’d tell us. Since they don’t, that must mean that they actually prefer the FUD [fear, uncertainty, and doubt].”
Since Brother became a hush-hush partner in a software patent pact, it made itself a backstabber and its products should therefore be avoided. █
“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”
–Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO