02.19.07

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Lamlaw.com: Microsoft’s Patent Manoeuvre Could Be Illegal

Posted in Deals, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

According to Lamlaw.com, the Novell/Microsoft deal is illegal as far as intellectual property and third parties go. This is not the first time such an argument is made.

When Microsoft agreed with Novell to cross their promises not to sue customers, Microsoft (and Novell) have likely violated the law

[...]

Intentional interference is an intentional tort. When you have parties A and B in a contract and a third party “C” comes along making an agreement with A with the intent to destroy the relationship with B (or cause A to breach the agreement with B), then you have the basis for such a charge

To cite Microsoft’s take, whether it is bogus or not:

“Novell actually saw the business opportunity, because there’s so many customers who say,

‘Hey look, we don’t want problems. We don’t want any intellectual property problem or anything else. There’s just a variety of workloads where we, today, feel like we want to run Linux. Please help us Microsoft and please work with the distributors to solve this problem, don’t come try to license this individually.

So customer push drove us to where we got’”

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2 Comments

  1. Draconishinobi said,

    February 19, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Sadly, when you are as powerful as M$ and Bill Gate$, the law doesn’t apply to you. Why ? Mostly because of lawyers. With a good lawyer you can get out of anything. For example, OJ Simpson and others.

    And, of course, if you have as much power as M$ (infinitely more than OJ), well, there’s not much that can stand in your way.

    But, hopefully, I’m wrong about this and M$ will be forced to dissolve the agreement. (I believe in Murphy, if no one else, so I’m betting for the former and against the latter)

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 19, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    Gravatar

    They have just bought their way out of Iowa.

    Nine weeks after it started, this case is closed

    Microsoft has settled dozens of similar antitrust cases in state courts in recent years. In only one other case, in Minnesota in 2004, was the settlement reached after trial had begun.

    Also this:

    “Most of those allegations had been out there… And those e-mails were old. We were very anxious to continue the trial so we could tell our story.” (Rich Wallis, MS general counsel)

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