The most meaty part of the November 2 cooperative-technology deal between Microsoft and Novell is also the hardest to understand: The patent portion.
Luckily, Jason Matusow, Microsoft's Director of Corporate Standards, breaks it all down in his posting today. The highlights:
* Novell and Microsoft are providing covenants to each other’s customers, therefore releasing each company from the other’s patent portfolio. "This may sounds odd vs. a traditional patent cross-license agreement but it is one of the things that makes this deal so unique," Matusow said."What it really means is that customers deploying technologies from Novell and Microsoft no longer have to fear about possible lawsuits or potential patent infringement from either company."
* From the start, a design principle of the agreement was to be compatible with the GPL.
* Under the patent agreement, customers will receive coverage for Mono, Samba, and OpenOffice as well as .NET and Windows Server. "All of these technologies will be improved upon during the 5 years of the agreement and there are some limits on the coverage that would be provided for future technologies added to these offerings," Matusow noted.
Questions? Qualms? Quibbles?