Bonum Certa Men Certa

Rumour: Microsoft's Marshall Phelps Failed to Sign Red Hat on Patents, Got Fired

“Other than Bill Gates, I don’t know of any high tech CEO that sits down to review the company’s IP portfolio.”

--Marshall Phelps



The following information is claimed to have originally come from a Red Hat employee. It suggests that Marshall Phelps was fired, at least as a daytime employee, because he did not manage to get Red Hat as a software patent licensee like Novell. Can anyone confirm this?

We are aware of some prior discussions between the two companies, but believe it won't ever materialise unless Red Hat changes hands and sinks into the hands of a prolific patent holder. Microsoft and Novell actively (and jointly) attack Red Hat.

"If seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work. Maybe there is no way Io avoid this problem but it does bother me. Maybe we can define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open. Or maybe we could patent something related to this."

--Bill Gates [PDF]

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