We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Microsoft wants royalties from open-source users

Linux violates 235 Microsoft patents, VP claims

Microsoft reportedly wants open-source software users to pay royalties on 235 alleged patent violations.

In an interview with Fortune magazine, Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, and Horacio Gutierrez, the company's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, said open-source software, including Linux, violates 235 Microsoft patents. And Microsoft wants distributors and users of open-source software to start paying royalties for these alleged violations.

"This is not a case of some accidental, unknowing infringement. ...There is an overwhelming number of patents being infringed," Gutierrez said.

Microsoft executives in Singapore were not immediately available to comment on the article.

Smith broke down the alleged patent violations during the Fortune interview, saying the Linux kernel violates 42 patents and the operating system's user interface violates a further 65. He went on to claim that the Open Office application suite violates 45 patents and open-source email applications infringe on 15 more. Other open-source software applications infringe on 68 patents, Smith said.

Microsoft has been laying the groundwork for patent claims against Linux and open-source software for some time. Most notably, the software company signed a Linux deal with Novell that indemnifies the company against Microsoft patent claims over Linux. Last week, Dell joined the deal, becoming the first hardware vendor to do so.

Microsoft has struck other deals with hardware makers. In April, Samsung Electronics and Microsoft signed a cross-licensing agreement that included a clause that indemnified Samsung against Linux patent claims.


IDG UK Sites

5 reasons not to wait for the Apple Watch: Why you shouldn't buy the iWatch

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How Emotional Debt is damaging digital design

IDG UK Sites

iPhone buying advice: Should I buy an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, or iPhone 5c, or wait for7......