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Microsoft is Again Paying the Huge Price for Wanting Anti-Free Software Laws

Fencing
Disputes go both ways



Summary: Microsoft wanted software patents and it got them... penalised time after time

THE INQUIRER says that "Microsoft [is] guilty of patent infringement" and it even adds a GIMPed version of Steve Ballmer to the article.

A TEXAS JURY has ordered Microsoft to cough up $200 million to Canadian collaborative content firm, i4i, for infringing on its patents.


The Register wrote about that too and so has AFP:

Microsoft has been ordered to pay at least $200m to i4i, a Canadian software firm for infringing patents in the way that Microsoft Word handles documents.


 

A jury in the US state of Texas ordered US computer software giant Microsoft on Wednesday to pay 200 million dollars to a Canadian company for patent infringement.


This news is pretty major, so it's all over the place.



What is the take-home message? Well, it comes to show that Microsoft is holding a two-edged sword that may sooner or later have it regret the patent strategy against its #1 threat, Free software.

Yesterday we wrote about Microsoft's artificial limitations patent and now we find Linux Magazine covering this from a FOSS perspective, which may be helpful.

With U.S. Patent 7,536,726, Microsoft has been granted a patent with which they hope to make a successful business model out of a potentially severely restricted operating system.


Some time ago we wrote about a patent lawsuit which targeted the Linux-powered Kindle. The latest news, as of yesterday, is that Amazon retaliates in defence.

Amazon lobbies a salvo back at Discovery Communications in response to the cable network's patent infringement lawsuit over the Kindle.


This may be a little interesting because Linux runs the device which is attacked for being "electronic book with DRM".

"The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation" —Pr Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Laureate in Economics), IP-Watch

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