In an article for the Fortune magazine, Microsoft says that free and open source software violates more than 200 of Microsoft’s patents.
Microsoft’s chief counsel and VP Brad Smith is quoted as saying that the Linux kernel – the deepest layer of the free operating system, which interacts most directly with the computer hardware – violates 42 Microsoft patents. The Linux graphical user interfaces – essentially, the way design elements like menus and toolbars are set up – run afoul of another 65. The Open Office suite of programs, which is analogous to Microsoft Office, infringes 45 more. E-mail programs infringe 15, while other assorted FOSS programs allegedly transgress 68.
The US Supreme Court made it easier to invalidate patents that are ‘obvious’ combinations of earlier inventions.
Read the whole story at CNN.