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Microsoft – Novell patent deal turns sour

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Linux LogoNovell logoMicrosoft and Novell recently signed a historic agreement, promising not to sue each other’s customers over patent infringement of Linux operating system software. Barely a month after the signing, the software companies are reportedly not on good terms. It all started when Microsoft began trying to take advantage of the agreement. microsoft logoThe software giant had issued statements that the deal with Novell proved that Microsoft’s intellectual property does exist in Linux operating system. Novell, however, quickly issued a statement of disagreement, saying the deal is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property.

“We disagree with the recent statements made by Microsoft on the topic of Linux and patents,” Hovespian’s letter said. “When we entered the patent cooperation agreement with Microsoft, Novell did not agree or admit that Linux or any other Novell offering violates Microsoft patents.”

Now we know why Microsoft doesn’t mind spending quite a handsome amount of money, which is a piece of cake for Microsoft, for the agreement. I think the tactic of entering into such agreements with their rival and referring to the agreement to their advantage is quite sleek, and almost worked in favor of Microsoft.

Executives at Red Hat and other Linux variants must be watching the whole episode in disbelief. I wonder what will happen to the deal next. Anyone like to guess?

Read [Ecommerce Times]

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