Amazon, Microsoft Sign IP Deal Over Linux

Amazon and Microsoft have just entered into a cross-licensing patent agreement which would enable both the companies to access each other’s portfolio; the deal encompasses a wide array of products and technologies.

The agreement would presumably help Amazon to safeguard itself from any sort of litigation against its hugely popular Kindle e-reader device, which employs several open source software applications and Linux-based servers, the software giant said.

The terms of the deal were confidential and the agreement with Amazon didn’t refer to any particular Microsoft’s products and technologies.

Microsoft has already asserted earlier that many open source software, including Linux, may infringe its patents.

This has enraged several open source advocates, as the company hasn’t disclosed anything about those controversial patents yet.

The software maker has already forged similar partnerships with several companies that involve coverage for their use of Linux and other open source products.

The patent deals with the vendors, including Novell, Fuji Xerox, and LG Electronics, were actually the part of the company’s wider IP licensing program it started in 2002.

Incidentally, last year, Microsoft filed lawsuit against the navigation device manufacturer TomTom, accusing it for violating the patents it held, including its use of Linux. TomTom opted for an out of court settlement by paying Microsoft.

Our Comments

Intellectual property is important but one can only wonder why Microsoft has not until now disclosed anything regarding these patents. Surely, there is nothing that could potentially cause an issue to the Redmond software firm. Why the veil of secrecy? Answers on a post card.

Related Links

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