Chalk up another Linux patent deal for Microsoft

Chalk up another Linux patent deal for Microsoft

Summary: Another Linux vendor has agreed to a cross-patent licensing patent deal with Microsoft. The latest is consumer-electronics vendor LG Electronics. Who will be the next Linux/open-source company to sign on the dotted line?

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Another Linux vendor has agreed to a cross-patent licensing patent deal with Microsoft.

The latest is consumer-electronics vendor LG Electronics. Neither Microsoft nor LG Electronics is commenting on the financial terms of the deal. But here's what is covered, according to Microsoft's June 6 press release announcing the LG Electronics-Microsoft licensing arrangement:

"Through the agreement, LGE will be able to use Microsoft-patented innovations in its products, including Linux-based embedded devices. Microsoft will have access to LGE’s patents and will license other patents developed by LGE that are now owned by business solutions provider MicroConnect Group. The specific financial terms of the agreement are confidential, but the parties are disclosing that Microsoft will be making a net balancing payment to LGE and MicroConnect for patents related to operating systems and computer systems. LGE will be making ongoing payments to Microsoft for the value of Microsoft patents as they relate to Linux-based embedded devices that LGE produces."

While Microsoft doesn't call out specifically any agreement not to sue LG Electronics Linux customers over alleged patent infringements, it does sound like that is part of the agreement.

"The structure of the agreement with LG is very similar to the Novell structure. The coverage of LGE's Linux-based embedded devices is being handled via direct customer patent covenants," a Microsoft spokeswoman told me, via e-mail.

The roster of Linux vendors signing patent deals with Microsoft is growing. On the current list: Novell, Fuji Xerox, Samsung, Xandros and now LG Electronics. So far, only two of these (Novell and Xandros) are Linux distro companies.

(I'd love to hear specifics about what Microsoft is showing/telling these vendors, re: the  235 Microsoft patents upon which open-source software allegedly infringes.)

Who will be the next Linux/open-source company to sign on the dotted line?

Topics: Hardware, Legal, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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48 comments
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  • Up next, Red hat.

    A little bird told me they are already in negotiations. ;-)
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • No way!

      You will never see a sane Linux company 'negotiating' with M$ any patent protection.
      Linux Geek
      • so basically you are calling RedHat an insance Linux company

        Call a linux company whatever you want to call, it makes no difference.
        zzz1234567890
        • Red hat is a brave and innovative company

          They don't need M$ 'protection'.
          Linux Geek
          • who are very innovative at stealing others Intellectual Property

            On Innovation
            who are very innovative at stealing others Intellectual Property and making money off others work. Thats the only innovation at RedHat.
            zzz1234567890
          • Exactly Which IP?

            Which IP have they "stolen" and from whom?
            Mercutio_Viz
          • Oh C'mon

            You don't really expect to get an answer to THAT question, do you?
            ogmanx@...
          • Could not possibly

            steal all their IP back that Microsoft
            has stolen from them.
            Ole Man
      • Re: No way!

        [i]You will never see a sane Linux company 'negotiating' with M$ any patent protection.[/i]

        The only thing a sane public company is about is creating value for shareholders. Period. End of paragraph.

        I wouldn't surprise me one bit if Red Hat inked a patent deal.



        :)
        none none
      • negotiating w/ MS

        We already have seen the Novell/OpenSUSE distro and Xandros sign, once I saw that I wouldn't put it past other distros to do it.
        devlin_X
        • If they want fleas

          All they have to do is sleep with dogs.
          Ole Man
    • Wrong

      Care to bet your salary against it?

      Thought not.
      DonRupertBitByte
      • Message has been deleted.

        No_Ax_to_Grind
        • Message has been deleted.

          Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Why not

      Red Hat should.
      voska
    • Been there *tried* that

      Didn't work out. Don't need Microsoft's help.
      gotitright
    • Was that little bird a turkey by chance?

      Red Hat, unlike Novell and Xandros, is profitable with their Linux products/services and understand the praying mantis style of business "collaboration" Microsoft is fond off. :)
      MisterMiester
    • That little buzzard

      Might be putting you on.

      Never accept for truth what is hatched
      from a rotten egg.
      Ole Man
  • The big question is,

    how much did Microsoft pay LG to get them to pose as idiots?
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Life's Good

      when you can receive money for nothing.

      TripleII
      TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827