Summary: Patent tax on Linux is still far from dead, due to proxies of Microsoft
Several months ago (almost half a year) I started just simply ignoring all SUSE and OpenSUSE news, including stories of Microsoft patent tax coming through SLE*, but this one I could not just ignore because it’s posted in the OpenSUSE site and it says:
If thats the way of support we may experience in the future, I am forced to stop actively promoting the project.
Some sites which promoted the project for years sometimes still do so, but I could name a few which no longer cover it, or very rarely do. SUSE is now funded by Microsoft and the 'old Novell' still tries to get money from Microsoft for its abuses in the 90s. Here is the latest:
Novell has filed its opening appeals brief [PDF] in the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust litigation regarding WordPerfect.
Another company that turned from a controversial Linux contributor (NTFS driver) into a Microsoft taxman is Tuxera, which now offers several patent tax options for several platforms including Android. From its latest press release:
Tuxera comprehensive file systems portfolio for storage solutions and other embedded devices include Tuxera NTFS, Tuxera exFAT, Tuxera HFS+, and Tuxera FAT.
Those are Microsoft patent Trojan horses. Just like SUSE in its different ‘flavours’, these should all be avoided. For those who think that Apple file systems (HFS+) are benign, remember Apple’s patent aggression against Linux and consider this latest action which involves software patents:
In ongoing legal proceedings in California, Apple has added six new devices to its patent infringement claims against rival Samsung, getting them in late Friday evening ahead of a deadline on changes to the scope of the complaint. The new additions essentially cover just about every piece of Samsung hardware now available in the U.S. market, with modifications that also account for recent software updates.
We should reject every technology which is associated with Apple. This branding company clearly still wants war. Groklaw, which covered the above case better than anyone, has just received a sort of award and finished putting all the trial transcripts from Oracle vs. Google online:
I’m happy to tell you that we now have all the remaining trial transcripts from the Oracle v. Google trial, and you can find them all in the Oracle v. Google Timeline by date.
These attempts to tax Linux/Android using patents have been largely facilitated by the USPTO, but they are not successful yet, with the exception of Microsoft’s FAT patents. █