Microsoft Deal Opens New Questions About Patents

A deal between Microsoft and Kyocera Mita, a Japanese printer manufacturer, has resulted in new questions about Microsoft's always-shaky claims of patent infringement.

The deal, which allows Microsoft to utilize Kyocera technology in Windows and Office, provides for Kyocera to use Microsoft's patented technology in, among other things, "certain Linux-based embedded devices." The provision has caused many to wonder about the specifics, in particular, whether Microsoft is now asserting that embedded Linux is part of the oft-cited but never-revealed patents on which Linux supposedly infringes.

Others have been quick to suggest that the deal merely involves utilizing Microsoft applications on top of embedded Linux, but Big Evil isn't interested in clarifying the situation. Their answer is as clear as their patent claims: "The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed."

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


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Critical Mass

Anonymous's picture

Just how much crap from Microsoft is the Linux Community going to take?

Doc had a great idea about a "Index of Openness" but nobody seems to have the balls to run with it.

SEE:(How about an Index of Openness?
September 29th, 2007 by Doc Searls

An Openness Index would be a good start. has lots of regular readers, plenty of energy, great perspective, and a bad domain name that undermines all of their hard work.

The linux Community has more "Mass" than Microsoft.

The situation is "Critical".

What is needed is a secure method for the Linux Community to rank products and companies as to whose side they are on.

Call it a "line in the sand" or "you are with us or against us", but the time has come to take a stand.