There’s an article out in Fortune Magazine talking about Microsoft, intellectual property and open source. Because of our interoperability agreement with Microsoft, which includes a patent element, Novell is featured in the story. We’ve received a number of inquiries about the story, in which Microsoft lays out the specific number of patents it claims are violated in Linux and other open source projects. While providing numbers is new, the claims that violations exists are not new. In response to similar Microsoft claims back in November, we put out an open letter from our CEO, Ron Hovsepian, that states our position on this issue. That position hasn’t changed.
From that open letter…”We disagree with the recent statements made by Microsoft on the topic of Linux and patents. Importantly, our agreement with Microsoft is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property. 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.”
As we’ve said from the beginning of this agreement, our focus has been on interoperability and making it easier for customers who have Linux and Windows to make those platforms work together. The patent agreement simply takes the patent issue off the table for those customers who are concerned about it.