Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical, which maintains the Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution, said he doubts Microsoft would file a suit against a free software developer unless the software giant wants "war."
At the end of a session at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention here on July 24, where Shuttleworth discussed the emerging practice of mixing agile development methods with community development efforts, Shuttleworth responded to a question about the possibility of Microsoft making patent claims against open-source code by saying: "I don't believe Microsoft will file suit against free software developers. It would be tantamount to declaring nuclear war. ... And I can afford it."
Shuttleworth was responding to a question about how developers could protect themselves against patent and intellectual property issues when it comes to contributing code to open-source projects. He initially said, "GPL V3 is a good solution ...". But pressed on the threat regarding Microsoft, Shuttleworth said he does not think the software giant would pursue a claim.