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Microsoft Signs Linux Patent Agreement With I-O Data

Just within a few days after striking a patent cross-licensing deal with the online retailing giant Amazon, Microsoft Corp has announced that its has penned a similar agreement with a Japanese computer peripheral maker.

Japan-based I-O Data Device Inc. has agreed to cough up an undisclosed sum to the software giant for using Linux and other open source software applications in its devices and routers.

The software maker asserted that the network attached storage devices from I-O Data Device use Linux-based technologies that come under the "patent covenants". David Kaefer, intellectual property chief at Microsoft, said in a statement: "We're pleased to reach this agreement with I-O Data".

"Microsoft has a strong track record of collaboration with companies running Linux-based offerings, and this agreement is a reflection of our commitment to partner with industry leaders around the world", he added.

Microsoft has already signed similar agreements with several big names in the industry, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Kyocera Mita, Fuji Xerox, Brother, and TomTom.

Microsoft Corp. has long claimed that Linux, along with other open source software, breaches its patents. However, these claims have been disputed by several opens source software advocates, as the software giant hasn't yet disclosed anything about the technologies which violate its patents.

Our Comments

Microsoft has been pretty much mum about what patents the open source community have been infringing. Yet, it must have disclosed these to Samsung, Amazon and the likes for them to write a big fat check for the Redmond giant. Let's see what happens next.

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