Microsoft grants Linux patent amnesty to LG Electronics

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced a cross-licensing deal with Korean consumer electronics maker LG Electronics Inc. It is the fifth such deal in recent months that involves Redmond's controversial granting of Linux patent 'protection' -- in this case, to LG-made cell phones and other devices. Microsoft will pay LG an undisclosed amount of money for patents related to operating systems and computer systems, it said in a press release, while LG will make ongoing payments to Microsoft "for the value of Microsoft patents as they relate to Linux-based embedded devices that LGE produces."

"This agreement is another example of how Microsoft is continuing to build bridges with others in the industry through intellectual property licensing," said Horacio Gutierrez, vice president, Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, in the statement. "We believe in the importance of respecting the IP rights of others and that patent collaboration and protection is a best business practice the whole industry should be engaged in," said Jeong Hwan Lee, executive vice president of the Intellectual Property Center at LGE, in the same statement.

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News source: ComputerWorld

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28 Comments

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If big players are handing over.. there must be some substance to MS's claim on the IP - Maybe they did steal it - but if they got the patent first.. they own it.

Wow, the LG guys must not have been reading the Internets to have agreed to such a scam. Haven't they read the countless articles and comments written by thousands of knowledgable people who knows alot more about patent law than they do? How can they be so clueless? These people know alot more about their company than they do for goodness sake. They may not know the exact details of the licensing but they know it is wrong. I guess some people just like to bury their head in the sand.

If Microsoft stole anything the courts would have a field day. Microsoft license or own all of the technologies they use - FACT.

If companies don't want to patent their work - or want to sell it for pennies.. Thats their problem and not Microsofts.

It's good business sense for Microsoft to sell the IP - and I'm assuming they must have some sort of rights as LGE is just one of many big companies to sign simalar deals.

Dan.P said,
Microsoft license or own all of the technologies they use - FACT.
If that was a "FACT", then Microsoft would never have been sued for, and lost, any single patent infringement suit. The fact that they are sued and sometimes lose disproves your statement.

your logic is seriously flawed, ms license or own jack, totally agree with mark on this one, MS has stolen a lot over the years and has subsequently been sued becasue of it. it all comes back to the OS/2 GUI

Hey... Maybe you should advise the guys Microsoft have "stolen" from - Because I'm sure they don't use any MS software and havn't realised.

Dates please..

The first order of business is to get some facts put out there for everyone to measure this whole issue against:

"Linux" is defined as the core of the operating system bearing its' name -- I've yet to see or hear about anything in the core that is an intellectual property or patent of Microsoft. The developers of the Linux kernel would certainly know for sure, and I'll venture a guess that they've looked it over again to err on the side of caution. I'll further venture a guess that anything suspect would be immediately reworked. And it's a good bet that anytime Mr.Torvalds reads about some corporate lackey saying that "Linux does this" or "Linux violates that" that he's immediately presenting them with the third digit of any appendage he chooses (and I will join in the chorus of middle appendages with him).

As mentioned earlier and elsewhere, if there is a larger violator of IP and patent than Microsoft, I've yet to hear about it. IBM did the initial work on N-Ten, and Microsoft essentially stole it. Period.

Xerox did the initial studies with interfaces and a lot of the things that are used in Microsoft products were also essentially stolen and claimed as original work.

If the problem then lies with GNU and Open-Source Software, it is the responsibility of the accuser (Microsoft) to cite specific and clear instances for each item of issue, not simply say that "Linux as a whole" violates x number of their properties and/or patents. Those developers who are "targeted" must be informed of whatever patent or IP their software violates. I've not heard of ONE single application (such as Amarok or Synaptic) whose developers have been contacted regarding this issue.

Microsoft needs to get the facts straight, as do its' lackeys whose job seems to be nothing more than to spread FUD and smear a superior product mindlessly.

GZT said,
If the problem then lies with GNU and Open-Source Software, it is the responsibility of the accuser (Microsoft) to cite specific and clear instances for each item of issue, not simply say that "Linux as a whole" violates x number of their properties and/or patents.
Well thats only if they actually do plan to act on the patent infringements. ATM they seem to be more happy just talking about it due to the doubt it creates in the market.

who cares about IBM, they are so low in the food chain nowdays noone cares, as for google, no way MS will take them on as google will fight, i do not see gooogle every agreeing to any deals with MS as they really are their major competitor

whocares78, I'm sure we all appreciate your enlightened views of the information technology industry. IBM, the world's largest IT company, is quite low in the food chain with its $103 billion in assets and extensive service and product line. IBM's software division alone would be the second largest software company in the world, second to Microsoft. Microsoft is just bullying companies into compromises but they won't go against big guys like IBM or Hewlett-Packard.

Ugh.

Microsoft, on one hand, tries to show that its full of nice guys and people who aren't evil and out to get Linux, but then they wheel out jerks like this guy:

"This agreement is another example of how Microsoft is continuing to build bridges with others in the industry through intellectual property licensing," said Horacio Gutierrez, vice president, Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft

Just crawl off under a rock and die. Microsoft can't touch Linux with patents and it knows it.. otherwise it would have stopped beating its chest long ago and just gone on with litigation.

I hate you Microsoft.

majortom1981 said,
Obviously it does have some valid patents on Linux or these big companies wouldnt be agreeing to this.

lol no. They probably decided it would much cheaper to pay MS's extortion than to fight it out in court.

majortom1981 said,
Obviously it does have some valid patents on Linux or these big companies wouldnt be agreeing to this.

True...

And i dont think windows will lose it market share below 70% at max!!...& upcoming versions of there softwares & OS are really record breaking & good.. (alike windows server 2008) & microsoft surface.

majortom1981 said,
Obviously it does have some valid patents on Linux or these big companies wouldnt be agreeing to this.
Sure. Just like so many people were saying that there must be copied code in Linux, or else SCO wouldn't have sued!

4tehlulz said,
lol no. They probably decided it would much cheaper to pay MS's extortion than to fight it out in court.
Seems to me that companies like Novell, Xanrdos and LG are getting paid to sign these deals.
Microsoft will pay LG an undisclosed amount of money for patents related to operating systems and computer systems
I know from published details on the Novell deal, the Microsoft paid a lot more than it got back in return.

reference: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/291...ftnovell08.html
Microsoft pays Novell $442 million
Novell pays Microsoft $40 million for 5 years ($200 million total)

guruparan said,

True...

And i dont think windows will lose it market share below 70% at max!!...& upcoming versions of there softwares & OS are really record breaking & good.. (alike windows server 2008) & microsoft surface.

i pray you are being sarcastic, VISTA sux dude, and every IT pro adn developer i know that has actually played with it says exactly the same. have you tried writing code for it, or even usign it before saying ths, or are you just and end user that really only surfs the web so vista will appear cool to you because you don't actually use most of the features

markjensen said,
I know from published details on the Novell deal, the Microsoft paid a lot more than it got back in return.

reference: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/291...ftnovell08.html
Microsoft pays Novell $442 million
Novell pays Microsoft $40 million for 5 years ($200 million total)

that 40 million is a minimum figure (not a max or absolute). MS also believe the deal will open up other revenue avenues outside of a flat cash payment.

But yeah, I do agree Novell seemed to get the better deal in this case.

whocares78 said,

i pray you are being sarcastic, VISTA sux dude, and every IT pro adn developer i know that has actually played with it says exactly the same. have you tried writing code for it, or even usign it before saying ths, or are you just and end user that really only surfs the web so vista will appear cool to you because you don't actually use most of the features

OOPS!!...is really Vista sux?....i am a IT pro & our company is migrating lot of technologies into Vista & its WPF (for rich end user apps)....

I heard people saying XP is a **** when it was released...now you say vista is a ****...wait & see.

whocares78 said,
VISTA sux dude, and every IT pro adn developer i know that has actually played with it says exactly the same. have you tried writing code for it, or even usign it before saying ths, or are you just and end user that really only surfs the web so vista will appear cool to you because you don't actually use most of the features

Hey now, I happen to be a "IT pro adn developer" and I wouldn't say that "VISTA sux dude". In fact, I think Vista is quite rockin! Just to be clear, I not only use Vista on a daily basis on my main machine, but I am also quite confident in recommending it to most customers, particularly in the consumer sector. I also "write code" for it, albeit in .NET, which rocks immensely! There has been no difference in me writing code for Vista vs. XP. Windows Server 2008 is already shaping up to be a really awesome platform too, and I look forward to deploying it. So I guess my questions to you are these: Have YOU tried writing code for Vista? What do you even mean by "writing code"? Have you even used Vista?

Also, I think software patents should be reviewed. Patents in general can be too ambiguous and the companies that hoard patents for years in the hopes of becoming rich from infringement lawsuits are just pathetic.

Vista does really sux ass dude, i use to do windows vista tech support for microsoft so i can to hear and fix all kinds of different problems that is in vista.. But the worse thing yet, microsoft doesn't even have N.America tech support for vista anymore.. It's all over seas..


So trust me at least i know and understand that vista well be for sure alot better whenever they release sp1 for vista..

It seems like there is really only one thing left for microsoft to do for linux... An that's microsoft making a directx version for linux.. An after that linux could have control over that most use operating system...

This also reminds me of a few years ago when microsoft was going on about how linux cost so much and how much it sucked to use.. So it seems like microsoft knows that linux is alot more then what it seems to be.