Ubuntu, one of the leading names in open source, has announced it won’t add its name to the list of open source vendors who have made interoperability dealswith Microsoft. Linspire, Novell and Xandros have already inked agreements with the giant, which have included assurances that Microsoft will not pursue patent infringement suits against them. This stemsfrom recent assertions by Microsoft that Linux infringes on Microsoft patents. Ubuntu, though, is proving defiant. “Allegations of ‘infringement of unspecifiedpatents’ carry no weight whatsoever,” claimed Ubuntu founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth. “We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work withMicrosoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together.” Four years ago, a survey by OSRM regarding Linux patentinfringements reportedly found a total of 283, only 27 of which pertained to Microsoft, none of which have been court-validated. However, in May Microsoft claimed it had identified 235 patent violations by open source, although it’s refused toidentify any of them. Microsoft has indicated that it has no desire to pursue legal claims against open source developers or end users over intellectual property. Instead it’s looking to Linuxvendors to pay for patent licensing. Shuttleworth has said that patent licensing companies pose a greater legal threat than Microsoft, and that any agreement with Microsoft wouldn’tprotect Linux vendors from suits from licensing companies. Patent licensing companies use patents solely to generate licence revenues and do not sell products based on the patents. This storywas amended 6/21/2007
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