Friday, February 23, 2007

Internicine Industry

The computer industry cross licences patents to so many people again and again that these sorts of things are almost inevitable. Someone gets in  a huff and then they're banned from selling something:


It looks like Novell could be banned from selling Linux:

The Free Software Foundation is reviewing Novell Inc.'s (NOVL.O: QuoteProfile , Research) right to sell new versions of Linux operating system software after the open-source community criticized Novell for teaming up with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: QuoteProfile , Research)

"The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft," Eben Moglen, the Foundation's general counsel, said on Friday.

The foundation controls intellectual property rights to key parts of the open-source Linux operating system.

The thing is, Microsoft is vastly more important to Novell than Linux is. And even if they were banned from selling it, it's not all that tough to strike a deal with a small company that would supply it to Novell's customers.

Simple enough problem to solve though, just tie up with someone who is allowed to sell it.

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