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Red Hat Vows To Stand Up To Patent Intimidation

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the stiff-upper-lip dept.

168

mrcgran writes "Eweek is reporting on Red Hat's assurances that can continue to deploy Linux without fear of legal retribution from Microsoft. This, despite the increasingly vocal threats emanating from Redmond. 'In a scathing response to Ballmer's remarks, Red Hat's IP team said the reality is that the community development approach of free and open-source code represents a healthy development paradigm, which, when viewed from the perspective of pending lawsuits related to intellectual property, is at least as safe as proprietary software. "We are also aware of no patent lawsuit against Linux. Ever. Anywhere," the team said in a blog posting.'"

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168 comments

standing up to turd intimidation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945401)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

Moron? (1)

valkabo (840034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945415)

"We are also aware of no patent lawsuit against Linux. Ever. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._IBM [wikipedia.org] 'Nuff said?

Re:Moron? (5, Informative)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945449)

Actually SCO vs. IBM involves copyrights, not patents. SCO accused IBM of wholesale copying of code.

Re:Moron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945607)


Actually SCO vs. IBM involves copyrights, not patents. SCO accused IBM of wholesale copying of code.


And so the score is:

Patent lawsuits: 0
Copyright lawsuits: 1 (and the litigious bastard is getting his ass handed to him)

Not bad.

No Lawsuits against linux is misleading (2, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946509)

No one is likely to sue "linux" since it has no deep pockets. Instead they can sue or threaten to sue companies that use linux or people who re-sell linux. So SCO suing IBM does not apply because they were suing IBM for contributing what they alledge was SCO owned code to Linux. Linux itself was not sued. But SCO also threatened major corporations that were using Linux without an SCO lic.

The latter is the one that matters. If companies can be sued for using linux then they are at risk.

The real question is does the same concept apply to Windows. Windows has be accused of and even lost lawsuits for infringing on other peoples code or patents (Stacker, Eolas, etc...) Indeed they are legendary for this. Now could someone sue a customer of MS or get an injunction against customers using MS software on the basis of the code contianing others IP. MS has said they will indemnify companies, but I doubt that covers lost revenues.

It is also true I beleive that Windows contains a fair amount of LGPL or BSD code inside it. That's legal under those lic. But what if someone, say SCO, were to say that the code in the LGLP lic was theirs? Then If it makes sense to sue users of Linux it would make sense to sue users of MS.

So if GNU is at risk of containing other people's IP then since MS uses GNU they are too.

Re:No Lawsuits against linux is misleading (3, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947047)

It is also true I beleive that Windows contains a fair amount of LGPL or BSD code inside it. That's legal under those lic. But what if someone, say SCO, were to say that the code in the LGLP lic was theirs? Then If it makes sense to sue users of Linux it would make sense to sue users of MS.
I'm trying to parse this and coming up empty.

After releasing code under the LGPL, it doesn't matter who "owns" it. A recipient is free to use it. Period.

The sticky situation is where you have released code under LGPL or BSD or whatever free license and it is based upon a patent that you own. In that case, you would claim that use of such code requires patent royalties to be paid to you. This is not the situation that Ballmer has been claiming. He is claiming that unspecified Linux code, independently developed by unspecified Linux people infringes on 235 unspecified patents owned by Microsoft. I do not believe that he has ever claimed code sharing and clearly, the recent code released under Microsoft's public source license is tainted for use in an Open Source project whether or not patents are involved.

So if GNU is at risk of containing other people's IP then since MS uses GNU they are too.
Um no. Actually if that GNU code infringes on a Microsoft patent, Microsoft would be the only one who could legally use that code without paying patent royalties.

What you write makes no sense and is not an analogous situation.

What Red Hat is doing is very important.

Re:Moron? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945463)

That wasn't about patents, it was about alleged copyright infringement and IBM's alleged breach of contract.

Re:Moron? (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945593)

That wasn't about patents, it was about alleged and proved false copyright infringement and IBM's alleged and also proved false breach of contract.
I fixed that for you.

Re:Moron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945835)

Yes, you are. 'Nuff said.

Re:Moron? Unix is not Linux NAAB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945941)

'Nuff said?

red hat.... RED HAT?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945417)

red hat is for fats and gays

Can someone mod this troll diwn into oblivion (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945465)

Please?

Re:red hat.... RED HAT?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946019)

red hat is for fats and gays

*shrug* It's a growth industry.

Finally (0, Troll)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945427)

Finaly, someone found their lost balls (the same wusses that would not fight the decss fight), and is willing to put their might in. Redhat + IBM should be enough to keep the redmond assholes quite at bay while Linux kicks their buts out of a sizeable chunk of the serverspace, at the very least.

Re:Finally (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945531)

Oh fuck, Microsoft won't do anything about this. It's FUD. Let's remember that come next year, there is likely to be a US administration less willing to ignore Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior than the last one, and the last thing Microsoft wants is a renewed DoJ campaign against them in the midst of Europe cleaning their clocks.

But this all points to one thing. Software patents are bad.

Re:Finally (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945751)

Let's remember that come next year, there is likely to be a US administration less willing to ignore Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior

      Dream on. It's only going to get worse from here.

Re:Finally (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945843)

Considering that the USG, United States Government is a huge Microsoft customer, even to the point that you even have to make your court filings on Microsoft software, We need a Special Prosecutor. Remember that last administration, the Sony Bono Copyright Extension act how likely do you think it is for either party to effect a change?

Re:Finally (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945877)


remember that come next year, there is likely to be a US administration less willing to ignore Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior than the last one, and the last thing Microsoft wants is a renewed DoJ campaign against them in the midst of Europe cleaning their clocks.


get serious.

I hate the bastards in power as much as the next guy, but to imagine that the democrats are less owned by big business than the republicans is self delusion on a grand scale.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Re:Finally (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945945)

It was during the Clinton years that the DoJ pursued Microsoft, and it was during the Bush years that they threw up their hands and said "Microsoft's doing just fine".

Re:Finally (3, Insightful)

Englabenny (625607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946379)

I hate the bastards in power as much as the next guy, but to imagine that the democrats are less owned by big business than the republicans is self delusion on a grand scale.

O_o

Since when is not the Bush administration known for being the 'big-corp-is-now-in-power' period? Through-and-through the bush administration and the upper parts of the republican party are supported by big corporations. The big republicans are playing in the game, too. Big business is in the white house more than it ever was -- why else would Blackwater stand untouched facing current criticism? Why else would we see an andministration that knowingly year after year plans for a budget deficit that is going to sink the country but make certain companies filthy rich?

Don't let the current Republican Administration make you think that it can't be any better any other way. Remember where this is coming from. Yes, this is power, power more corrupted than ever.

America is going to face a long and hard period after this where old debts will have to be repaid.

Re:Finally (3, Insightful)

reidconti (219106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947045)

Because power corrupts. Big government is inherently in the pocket of corporations that can pay up.

I laugh every time I see a whiny liberal talk about how the Democrats are going to ride in on a white horse and come up with a thousand laws limiting the power of businesses. GUESS WHAT? It's the laws that give businesses the power.

Corporations cannot use force.

Governments can.

As soon as the democrats start fucking things up, the republican machine will get going and try to convince every undecided voter that the democrats are the problem.. wash, rinse, repeat.

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947451)

but to imagine that the democrats are less owned by big business than the republicans is self delusion on a grand scale.
You're going to hear this a lot from Republicans in the next year: "But, but, they're as bad as we are!".

Actually, I call bullshit. Take the most corporate-friendly Democratic administration of the last half-century and it doesn't come close to the sheer mendacity and highest-bidder whorishness of the Bush Administration.

Re:Finally (4, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946193)

Oh fuck, Microsoft won't do anything about this. It's FUD. Let's remember that come next year, there is likely to be a US administration less willing to ignore Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior than the last one, and the last thing Microsoft wants is a renewed DoJ campaign against them in the midst of Europe cleaning their clocks.

But this all points to one thing. Software patents are bad.
As a person using computers for a long time, I can easily say: Expect ANYTHING from Microsoft. They have no limit or ethics when it comes to their core business.

Check Amazon top selling software, OS X Leopard is currently number 4 without even being released yet, XP Home edition is somewhere at 50th or something, Vista DOES NOT EXIST on that list which has Ubuntu, the same Ubuntu which you can download for free is on list.

If it came to this point and they started to work with some struggling Linux vendors who would give up their real job to port some Flash wannabe technologies, it is the exact time to get afraid. That same vendor also speaks about patents, unpublished agreements with MSFT, their highest IT manager writes how "great" MS Office XML is...

I think it is really time to "fear".

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20947705)

"Check Amazon top selling software, OS X Leopard is currently number 4 without even being released yet, XP Home edition is somewhere at 50th or something, Vista DOES NOT EXIST on that list which has Ubuntu, the same Ubuntu which you can download for free is on list."

It seems to be that you're not looking at the big picture in the software business. MS Windows, at least for the past 10 years, has been mostly sold through computer purchases - preinstalled, that is. So why would someone go buy MS Windows when they get it with their computer? The rankings you're citing are not a true indicator of how MS Windows is doing in the OS market.

Re:Finally (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947881)

"Check Amazon top selling software, OS X Leopard is currently number 4 without even being released yet, XP Home edition is somewhere at 50th or something, Vista DOES NOT EXIST on that list which has Ubuntu, the same Ubuntu which you can download for free is on list."

It seems to be that you're not looking at the big picture in the software business. MS Windows, at least for the past 10 years, has been mostly sold through computer purchases - preinstalled, that is. So why would someone go buy MS Windows when they get it with their computer? The rankings you're citing are not a true indicator of how MS Windows is doing in the OS market.
Most of Mac people buy their OS X from Apple, I am noting for you again: OS does not EXIST yet, it is pre-order without any kind of "early pay" rebate. People say "We buy whatever ships in whatever time", it is degree of unbeliavable trust.

General PCs come with Windows Pre installed,true. The thing is, consumers demand the earlier version of Windows even ready to pay extra price. The "Vista" they don't want worth billions of dollars of development costs. Microsoft spent billions for nothing.
 

RedHat + IBM ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947537)

It would be like Luke (all grown up) and obi wan (all young) against darth maul together. you know who darth maul is. i didnt even extend the courtesy of identifying them with vader or palpy.

As a customer (4, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945441)

Thank you. I look forward to purchasing more from you in the future, and less from MicroSoft.

Re:As a customer (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945495)

Yes, even though I don't actually buy from Red Hat, it almost makes me want to go out and buy Fedora rather then download it next time I want to test it, its sad though that the companies who actually fight for freedom of code/user choice are those that don't have very many products to sell, except for the hardware vender's. Although I might buy some Red Hat stock....

Re:As a customer (1)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947231)

You can't buy Fedora, you'd buy RHEL. Red Hat has tons of stuff to sell.

Well done !!! (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945473)

Running on Red Hat Enterprise 4, i was damn happy about it. Im now more happy with what i use because Red Hat is showing much integrity.

Re:Well done !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945511)

Ditto. And we are switching to JBoss too for our Java Application Servers.

What has to be considered (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945479)

is that there hasn't been any explicit claims on any patents - just buzzing that there are infringements going on. Until there are at least references to the actual patents there can't be a case worth taking to court.

And even if brought to court - the case may be dismissed if the claims aren't good or if the situation is caused by unwillingness to reveal what the infringements are.

So in all - just call back to Redmond and ask about the details about the alleged infringements. Or write a letter.

On the other hand if everybody reading this sends a postcard to M$ HQ asking for specifics regarding the infringements they may be at least annoyed, but as long as the writing is sensible it's still legal. Just try to get a postcard with a penguin on for this! :-)

Re:What has to be considered (4, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945765)

the thing is that MS must know it would be virtually impossible for it to win a patent fight against some of the heavyweights in the linux buisness. IBM in particular has lots of patents of thier own and i'm sure they could find a few that MS was somehow violating.

if they reveal publically what if anything the infringements are then unless they are really earth shattering things they will just be worked arround or prior art found weakening microsofts position further.

so for the moment it is most sensible for MS to just spread very general fud without giving anyone any real information.

Re:What has to be considered (2)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945827)

if they reveal publically what if anything the infringements are then unless they are really earth shattering things they will just be worked arround or prior art found weakening microsofts position further.
Not only that, but once they reveal the patents, others have a chance to prove whether or not it was "prior art" before they even have to worry about defense of it, in which case the patent itself is voided and you no longer have a patent infringement.

Microsoft is only trying to scare people. Until they reveal the patents... which they are required to do by law, if claiming patent infringement... they're just blowing null bits.

Re:What has to be considered (4, Informative)

j-cloth (862412) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945979)

IBM in particular has lots of patents of thier own and i'm sure they could find a few that MS was somehow violating.

I was at a Redhat seminar this morning and they were talking about this exact issue. They said they belong to a consortium of companies (including IBM) who have pooled software patents for defensive purposes (I can't remember the name of the group, I want to say it's the Public Patent Foundation (www.pubpat.org) but that doesn't appear to be it). Specifically, if Microsoft tries to go against one of the members, they can search through their collection of patents, find one that MS violates, and counter sue with the desired effect of both sides either dropping it or cross licensing. Redhat's patent policy also states this (from http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html [redhat.com] ):

One defense against such misuse is to develop a corresponding portfolio of software patents for defensive purposes. Many software companies, both open source and proprietary, pursue this strategy. In the interests of our company and in an attempt to protect and promote the open source community, Red Hat has elected to adopt this same stance. We do so reluctantly because of the perceived inconsistency with our stance against software patents; however, prudence dictates this position.

You must be thinking of the Open Invention Network (4, Informative)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946951)

Open Invention Network [openinventionnetwork.com] - with Sony, IBM, NEC, Philips, RedHat, and Novell(?) as it's members, as well as Oracle, Canonical, and a few lesser known companies as licensees. From their about page:

Open Invention NetworkSM is an intellectual property company that was formed to promote Linux by using patents to create a collaborative environment. It promotes a positive, fertile ecosystem for Linux, which in turns drives innovation and choice in the global marketplace. This helps ensure the continuation of innovation that has benefited software vendors, customers, emerging markets and investors.

Open Invention Network is refining the intellectual property model so that important patents are openly shared in a collaborative environment. Patents owned by Open Invention Network are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. This enables companies to make significant corporate and capital expenditure investments in Linux -- helping to fuel economic growth.

Open Invention Network ensures the openness of the Linux source code, so that programmers, equipment vendors, ISVs and institutions can invest in and use Linux with less worry about intellectual property issues. Its licensees can use the company's patents to innovate freely. This makes it economically attractive for companies that want to repackage, embed and use Linux to host specialized services or create complementary products.

Re:What has to be considered (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947173)

They said they belong to a consortium of companies (including IBM) who have pooled software patents for defensive purposes (I can't remember the name of the group, I want to say it's the Public Patent Foundation (www.pubpat.org) but that doesn't appear to be it).

The name you are looking for is the Open Invention Network [openinventionnetwork.com] , which is backed by such small-time players as Google, IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony.

Re:What has to be considered (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20947773)

In other words, Red Hat joined a consortium of patent holders that allows them to use the corresponding patented technology (which is great) but they refuse to honor Microsoft's patents by making a similar patent licensing deal with them? Red Hat are the ones being unscrupulous here, not Microsoft. If Red Hat made deals to use the tech that this constortium has patented, why do they not do the same for Microsoft's patents? And Red Hat, I can tell you, violates patents by these companies:
Microsot, Apple, Sony, Denver Computing Inc, Boeing, Symbolics, Texas Instruments, etc.
Red Hat is violating patents willy-nilly and one of the above companies is going to get sick and tired of it.

Re:What has to be considered (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945911)

their address is

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399
                Telephone
(800) MICROSOFT (642-7676)

Fax
Please include the recipient's first and last name.
(425) 93-MSFAX (936-7329)

Re:What has to be considered (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946277)

...call back to Redmond and ask about the details

I suspect the direct number for this kind of feedback is 1-800-EAT-SHIT.
They might actually like that as a large number of calls
would tell them the FUD is being taken seriously.

What they promised (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945497)

They promised to remove any patent infected software. It's not like they promised to pay everybody's legal fees or anything like that.

Re:What they promised (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946085)

They promised to remove any patent infected software. It's not like they promised to pay everybody's legal fees or anything like that.
So, if one uses/deploys Redhat Enterprise, he/she must stay away from recent Novell introduced software such as Silverlight clone.

I hope I got it right.

Microsoft, the bully in the IT industry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946337)

Exactly what IP/patents is Linux infringing on? They never have disclosed the details. I think this will only damage Microsoft's reputation in the eyes of the average PC user even more, besides Vista is doing a great job screwing Microshit!

Re:Microsoft, the bully in the IT industry! (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947665)

No, the M$'s reputation is being damaged in the eye of the average *power* user. The average users I know have no awareness whatsoever of current events in the tech industry. Heck most are barely aware of what an OS is and why they need it.

Quote goes on to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945555)

"We are also aware of no patent lawsuit against Linux. Ever. Anywhere,..."

.. "Oh, except for that one company that tried to sue Linux and got totally pwned. Didn't they go bankrupt a couple of weeks ago? Yeah, keep that in mind, bitches."

Re:Quote goes on to say (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945785)

That lawsuit was never about patents. They claimed it did in the press but in the court it all boiled down to just copyright & contract claims. No patents were ever brought into play in the actual court case.

Re:Quote goes on to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946489)

It's called a joke.

Re:Quote goes on to say (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946547)

There were patents, but they were IBM's, not SCO's.

SCO had nothing.

Re:Quote goes on to say (2, Funny)

darkonc (47285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946765)

SCO may have had nothing, but they sued about everything.

The problem with Microsoft taking the SCO path, however, is that -- when it looks like the suit is about to tank, declaring bankruptcy to avoid the final trial would only result in a charge of mass-murder (when the entire federal bankruptcy court dies laughing).

Re:Quote goes on to say (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947229)

SCO may have had nothing, but they sued about everything.

They couldn't sue over patents, because they had none. A while after the IBM suit was filed, they received their first patent.

Re:Quote goes on to say (1)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947023)

No... that case boiled down to nothing more than an attempt to spread massive FUD while the now-bankrupt company stole a bunch of money that wasn't thiers.

uh oh (1, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945563)

Anyone complaining about infrigements better make sure their own company's website isn't hosted on a Redhat server cuz it probably is lol. Stupid people and their Linux ignorance lol.

humm (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945565)

"...increasingly vocal..." really? The world moves on. Nobody really cares.

"...a scathing response..." not really. This exact phrase was used to describe another Linux vendors response...

Re:humm (4, Insightful)

pete314 (877866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945755)

The blog posting for the response is dated 14 May 2007. Red Hat didn't respond to last week's attack from Steve Ballmer, this response addresses Ballmer's Newsweek interview in which he claims that open source is infringing on 235 Microsoft patents.

Actionable? (4, Interesting)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945597)

I'm not a lawyer, but I wonder if Ballmer's speech might be actionable in and of itself. In other words, Red Hat files suit against MS for defamation, Tortious Interference being the legalese methinks. Unless MS can prove the infringement, then they'd ahve to pay damages. Essentially forcing MS into the position that SCO put itself.

Of course if I could think of it, they surely could too, only they actually know what they're doing;-)

Re:Actionable? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945741)

actionable? Nope. Not unless you've got a handy billion for a court case they would drag on for years, whilst they were trying everything they could to discredit you. That much money can buy a lot of witnesses against you too.

I prefer to consider that his actions are making microsoft look less and less professional compared to the Linux vendors.

Anyway, I just tried Vista on a machine my mum has bought. I was willing to give it the benefit of doubt, but after three days I've realised it really is a heap of crap. The interface alone is just plain badly designed, and that's the least of the problems I had. I've got no chance of getting my mum to revert to Vista, but boy would I like that.

Microsoft just lost my future custom outright, there is no way I will ever use Vista myself.

Re:Actionable? (1)

renbear (49318) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945763)

Would it be possible for a class-action defamation lawsuit based on Ballmer's public comments? It strikes me that it would be more successful than an individual suit, since no one entity is responsible for the whole of Linux. The class defamed would be all developers or companies that had contributed code to Linux.

The suit would make sense to me, but I imagine that the legal system might not have provisions for a class action of this nature. It might explain why Microsoft feels comfortable creating this FUD... no one can sue them for it.

Re:Actionable? (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945773)

That would probably be a bad move as MS has a hell of a lot of patents - and while I believe software patents should just up and go away - for now, they are still allowed in the US and MS may even be able to prove one or more of them are being infringed. Again, I don't like software patents anymore than the next slashdotter, but we'd be foolish to just assume that they can't prove even one patent being infringed. Maybe they can't - but it wouldn't be a good idea for Red Hat to jump into the ring unless they are 100% sure that it wouldn't happen.

Re:Actionable? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946345)

MS has a hell of a lot of patents
Compared to who? IBM has a hell of a lot more.

Re:Actionable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945825)

SCO was Microsoft's anti-Linux FUD puppet.

Now that SCO has completely lost whatever credibility it may have once had - not to mention its FUD-based cases - MS is forced to leave the shadows and openly do the job itself.

This has nothing to do with copyright infringement. It's all about scaring pansy "IT managers" into using only MS server products.

Re:Actionable? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945959)

Just using discovery to find all the software patents they have filled or purchased would be interesting

Re:Actionable? (It is in the UK) (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946129)

In the UK you can't make groundless patent threats like this, if Red Hat want they could take Microsoft to court and force them to identify the patents that they claim to be violated.

See section 70 of the 1977 patent act (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/patentsact1977.pdf) if you want to know the details.

Re:Actionable? (1)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946725)

I think that the malicious nature of Ballmer's comments are intended to drive away current Red Hat customers and induce them into breaking contracts, and is therefore actionable under the law. Its probably too expensive to get into an all out lawsuit about this, however, but I know I would, on principle.

They don't have to sue (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945759)

All the have to do is make the PHB's think it's a possibility.That alone will,when mixed with the CYA mentality at most businesses keep Linux usage down.Which is the whole point.

No lawsuit against Linux? Or Open src sftw? (0, Troll)

shafty023 (993689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945801)

So I read Red Hat's statement that they've never been heard of a lawsuit against Linux. Did that also include companies using open source software? The company I work for is being sued as we speak for using apache/tomcat for our company website. Apparently that 3-tier method of supplying a page is patented by some IP company. I forget their name. Either way, other major online companies like Amazon I think were hit with this same infringement and they've settled out of court. It's stuff like this that scares people away from using open source. No protection from IP violations.

3-tier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945937)

So are they suing you for using Apache, saying that Apache violates their IP patent?
Or are they suing you for using Tomcat, saying that Tomcat violates their IP patent?
Or are they suing you for using Linux, saying that Linux violates their IP patent?

It doesn't sound like it from your summary. It sounds like they are suing you for using a 3-tier architecture, since they have a patent on the 3-tier architecture. Is that correct?

If so, couldn't they just as easily sue someone for implementing a 3-tier architecture with MS SQLServer and IIS?

Or am I missing something?

Re:3-tier? (1)

shafty023 (993689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946539)

It's more the 3-tier method of serving up pages. Request comes in to apache, request goes to tomcat, tomcat processes the app, sends back the page. Somehow we are free from litigation when we switched to windows on our web server. Not sure how that fixed it but it did. Too little too late, we're still getting sued.

Re:3-tier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20947013)

Well I suppose you are probably neither the lawyer representing your company in the case, nor a designated spokesperson for the case, so unless you have been very directly involved with it I don't know that it is fair to expect you to know all the details.

But the whole thing sounds like just another case of frivolous patent litigation to me. A company manages to get a patent on something that is very obvious and already in widespread use (and, I might add, not directly Linux or Open Source related), the incompetent patent office grants the patent, and then the company goes around suing anything that looks like an easy target. I would venture a guess (just idle speculation) that the company is targeting non MS users just to distance themselves as much as possible from the possibility of involving the "big guns" in the case.

In any case it sounds to me like if your company stands up to them and attacks the validity of their patent (er...there IS a way to do this, isn't there?) you can win and reclaim legal costs. (this is not legal advice, just a relatively uneducated opinion).

Re:No lawsuit against Linux? Or Open src sftw? (2, Informative)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946651)

FUD unless you provide either patent numbers or at least the name of the company suing you.

Note that this does not involve Linux either, only Apache/Tomcat.

A good question to ask this company is what would happen if you switched to IBM's Websphere which is just apache and java.

Re:No lawsuit against Linux? Or Open src sftw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946863)

Um... huh? Can you provide any more specific info on this (links possibly)? Unless I'm missing something, the so-called "3-tier method" (if you mean http server -> app server -> database) is EXTREMELY common, and not limited to Apache and Tomcat (think WebSphere, JBoss, ColdFusion, GlassFish etc)... All the Java based stuff can and often is setup this way... Couldn't find anything on Google about this. My ears are bad, maybe I'm not hearing the "whoosh" of sarcasm going by above my head (though you weren't modded funny)... ???

Re:No lawsuit against Linux? Or Open src sftw? (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946927)

Using a web server and application server like that is a very common architecture.

Is this an issue in Europe? (3, Informative)

ditoa (952847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945885)

I have read about this for a long time now and have been meaning to ask ...

Does this effect Europe? And more specifically the UK?

As far as I am aware Europe (and the UK) does not "do" software patents so even if MS is telling the truth about the Linux infringements are they even valid in Europe/UK?

Re:Is this an issue in Europe? (3, Informative)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946185)

It doesn't specifically affect EU or UK companies but technically they could be sued if they have a presence in the US. There are precedents for suing companies based in other countries because they serve US customers. Would be more hassle than it's worth though when they'd have easier US targets

Re:Is this an issue in Europe? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946703)

As a company, I love RedHat. As a distribution, bleh. I've used RHEL and god damn...the up2date business where you have to have each computer registered to access their online package management system is complete bullshit. We've actually migrated to CentOS instead on some of the boxes and couldn't have been happier. Yum kicks the shit out of up2date. Not because it's a better system, but because yum doesn't give a shit who's making the requests, it just services them. We could just install yum in RHEL, but we figured we'd give CentOS a go since it claims to be 100% compatible with RHEL binaries and it's completely free. So far their claims have held up.

Re:Is this an issue in Europe? (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947267)

AFAIK, Red Hat substituted Up2Date for Yum in RHEL 5.

Re:Is this an issue in Europe? (1)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947347)

RHEL now uses yum FYI.

Can we stop hating RedHat now? (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946071)

Not wishing to generalize the whole of /. here, but there seems to often be a certain vocal contingent who really dislike RedHat.

Why?

They've made huge contributions to Linux, and all of their custom system tools were released as Free (both kinds) when very few other commercial distros were doing the same. Now they're standing up to all this patent nonsense.

What is there to dislike about RedHat?

Personally, I'm not a particular fan of the distribution any more since they stopped including the old skool unix/X stuff (fvwm2, gv, xfig, ...) some of which is a pain to configure and install. But I've got nothing against them.

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946201)

What is there to dislike about RedHat?

Three little letters: R... P... M...

Oh yeah, and how about the way they messed up system structure? And how they left their community supporters in the lurch without support after deciding that the RHEL/Fedora split (and, actually, there was about a six month period where there was only RHEL)? No. No reason at all to dislike them.

Give me Canonical and Ubuntu any day.

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947307)

Three little letters: R... P... M...

I hear that argument about once a week on average, but yet nobody has been able to explain what their problem with RPM is. Would you like to try?

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (1)

G00F (241765) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947399)

The problem with RPM is, well let me give a scenerio
Suse 8x/9x came with such and old versions of gaim, that none of the protocals worked, they where liek a year behind. No big deal, just download the latest gaim right?

Wrong
Have to update GTK, KDE, and a half dozen other libs. Something that would take a windows user oh, I dunno, they might have to update DX or drivers at the most, not the whole entire X11 server.

I use linux a lot, but not as a desktop. To much work.

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (2, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947727)

So how is that the fault of rpm? If you'd tried to compile the latest gaim (well, Pidgin) yourself, it wouldn't have even finished the configuration process. rpm did you a favor by telling you what the missing dependencies were.

It's not as if the latest Windows programs run on Windows 95.

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947427)

dependency hell

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (2, Insightful)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947721)

Most people's actual problems are with fit and finish around dependencies and upgrades rather than the packages themselves.. I think Debian and it's derivatives would be just as good if they were based on RPMs instead of debs. Debs don't seem inherently superior to RPMs to me. Both are managed packages that come with files, a list of dependencies, and install scripts. The difference is in how package repositories are maintained and standards for creating packages. The Debian based distros inherit Debian's outstanding efforts at this. There is no reason why an RPM based distro wouldn't work as well but I have yet to see one that handles both major upgrades and ordinary day-to-day software installs and removals as well as Debian bases do.

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (2, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946961)

As a company, I love RedHat. As a distribution, bleh. I've used RHEL and god damn...the up2date business where you have to have each computer registered to access their online package management system is complete bullshit. We've actually migrated to CentOS instead on some of the boxes and couldn't have been happier. Yum kicks the shit out of up2date. Not because it's a better system, but because yum doesn't give a shit who's making the requests, it just services them. We could just install yum in RHEL, but we figured we'd give CentOS a go since it claims to be 100% compatible with RHEL binaries and it's completely free. So far their claims have held up.

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947747)

Ah, but I bet those CentOS machines aren't supported.

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20947875)

I could be wrong about this, but I think yum did replace up2date in RHEL5. Just FYI.

Re:Can we stop hating RedHat now? (4, Insightful)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947485)

There is nothing to dislike about Red Hat. These FOSSies are just bitter that a company learned how to turn OSS into a profitable business. The only reason half these fools are sweating Shuttleworth is because he hasn't made it big with Ubuntu yet, so his distro is still 'cool.' I hate that steaming pile of crap, but then again I have been using Unix since I was 13.

Little do most people know, Red Hat has the key Fedora developers on Payroll, and tons of kernel hackers. Just one kernel hacker at Red Hat is likely to have hundreds of commits to kernel code. If you don't like their distro because they are not old school Unix, I can see that. But saying they suck yadda yadda with no substance, or complaining about a problem that is in older versions, is asinine. These days, I wouldn't even bother touching anything but RHEL (if on x86).

I'll probably get marked Troll for this, cause I am not hot in the pants for Marky Mark, and actually sticking up for a good company with a great product, but whatever.

Ballmer is the worst thing to ever happen to MS (4, Insightful)

pilbender (925017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946095)

This kind of thing doesn't work. It's been shown time and again. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is becoming the laughing stock of the tech industry.

SCO is an example. There was some uncertainty before everything fell out. I don't think there is any uncertainty about patents or copyrights regarding Linux anymore. There is a lot of confidence in Linux now.

Microsoft needs to get off the litigation and on to innovation. Ballmer seems to not understand what this company attitude does to Microsoft's customer base and its reputation.

When I see comments like this I see that Microsoft needs a new CEO with a vision and not a Steve Ballmer with a litigation team. Just my perception. I think there are many others who share this view.

Just an idea... (0, Redundant)

Endloser (1170279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946125)

But maybe we should set the RIAA and Microsoft up on a blind date. It could start by convincing a mass of people to form an addiction to a product that they never can actually own... And end with suing the poorest of that mass out of enough money to buy a small island with. After all, infringing on patents that haven't been specified and copyrights for 99 cent songs should entitle the IP owners to at least 2 million dollars each infringement.

The Dilemma of War... (5, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946151)

Microsoft is in a very curious position right now. The SCO assault (which was to their benefit, whether or not they were behind it) has sputtered below the point of PR credibility. Linux is gaining ground slowly but steadily, particularly on the server side. The server side represents most of the "movable" machines as far as OS is concerned. Windows already has most of the world's desktops and so many users and businesses hooked into Office that they are all but impregnable in the near term as far as serious market share loss is concerned. (As Linux has discovered, it turns out the biggest and hardest barriers to acceptance are the re-training of users and the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality.) Oddly enough, this also makes showing growth difficult (Vista).

To compete against free software on the server side, there are some unique problems. Much more savvy "users" in the form of sysadmins who can and will learn new systems, stable and trusted software bases which provide both freedom to tweak and freedom from vendor lock in, and a very long history of Unix style systems proving themselves equal to server tasks. (Indeed, Solaris itself is now freely available, for those who are gun shy of Linux.) Licensing costs and concerns are impossible - Linux is free in many forms.

Hence the temptation to use patents. Patents are one of the few weapons that cannot be easily countered by an open source software movement, particularly if the patents have the effect of shutting open source software out of certain markets altogether. The lack of revenue to pay lawyers looms large here - in the US legal system that's a very dangerous position to occupy. But there are still drawbacks for Microsoft:

Much major open source work is not done in the US, but in places like the EU. Microsoft's position in the EU is weaker, and opening an offensive there would be more difficult. Politically it would also have ramifications, possibly serious ones.

If Microsoft DOES open a patent offensive against major open source projects, they run the risk of triggering Armageddon - a broad scale patent war that could leave the entire US software industry in ruins. There are defensive alliances behind open source who's potential in a legal contest must be weighed.

If they go TOO gung-ho, it could have the effect of helping to convince Congress to remove the software patent go-ahead.

In the short term, lawsuits against the free software key players least able to defend themselves would have a major harmful effect on the community (to say nothing of the individuals caught up in it.) However, potential long term effects are another story - Microsoft doesn't hold large legal clubs everywhere.

A lot of our manufacturing is now being done overseas, and many companies are outsourcing wherever they can. If all of a sudden the price of outsourcing was being compatible with non-Windows systems INSIDE the US (foreign governments may mandate avoiding dealing with someone like Microsoft, after all...), it would be very interesting indeed to see how that played out...

Re:The Dilemma of War... (2, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947355)

Patents are one of the few weapons that cannot be easily countered by an open source software movement, particularly if the patents have the effect of shutting open source software out of certain markets altogether.

Not true. In the same way a DDOS is effective against single boxes on the network, a plethora of patents by open-source contributors could effectively stall closed-source development. Imagine if:

  • One of every 10 OS developers filed for a patent on the things they invented, and agreed to license the patent free of charge only to those who distributed source code (kind of like a GPL for patents).
  • Key visionaries in the OS movement predicted where technology was likely to go next, invented pieces critical for the implementation, and patented those.
  • OS foundations like the FSF and RedHat actively policed closed-source software for patent violations, in much the same way commercial vendors do, and the FSF already does with copyrights.

I know it sounds kind revolutionary, but OS needs to use patents in the same way it used copyrights. It takes only $600 to file for a patent, and the contribution by most OS developers is worth far more than that in any given year.

Even if only one in 10 patents was granted, there would be hundreds, if not thousands of patents in the open source world. To achieve such a feat would leave closed source vendors in a veritable minefield of patents - they would either be forced to open their source code, or forego any OS patent litigation whatsoever.

But no, this is /., where we're more happy to whine about it, and complain that the USPTO is granting patents for the patently obvious. If USPTO is granting frivolous patents, why not jump on the bandwagon and cash in? Or is it that actual innovation is not as simple as it's made out to be?

Don't whine about Big Bad Corporations. Do something.

They have been called out on the matter (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946171)

The fact that Microsoft have refused to say what the code is, shows intent to terrorize.

Someone call homeland security.

The open source principle and process is one of having the ability to fix and/or modify code.
Microsoft is not playing by those rules.

Open source doesn't play by Microsofts rules.

But it is Microsoft that is making a accusation against open source.

Open source is willing to fix the problem. Microsoft is not willing to allow that.

All in all, what would any reasonable court think of this?

 

Why are Redhat using that "IP" word? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946195)

Simply using the correct terms -- "software patents" and "extortion" -- is enough to repel these lame Microsoft threats.

By using the term "intellectual property", Steve Ballmer is saying Linux infringes Microsoft copyright, trademarks and trade secrets. Perhaps he should stick to throwing chairs instead of using big words he doesn't understand.

Ignorance, I guess. Ignorance is widespread. (0, Offtopic)

PaulGaskin (913658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946417)

I don't say "Intellectual Property", I specify what I mean (copyright, patent). I don't say "Open Source", I say "Free" or "Libre". I don't say "Linux", I say "GNU Linux".

Sarbanes Oxley (2, Insightful)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946515)

Recently some software vendors told us that because recent changes in US legislation they must be very careful on what they promise about the upcoming software they showcase. To make it short they said that spreading unsubstantiated FUD or keeping customers from choosing competing products with blanket promises that later go unfulfilled has been made equivalent to market manipulation and is punished harshly.

Would this "beware! there be dragons..." attitude of Microsoft constitute a violation of said US law? Is cutting air supply with vague patent threats a punishable behaviour?

e

Re:Sarbanes Oxley (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946807)

Sarbanes Oxley would only come into play if Balmer was trying to convince shareholders and potential shareholders that Linux wasn't a threat because of these secret patents and he hows that's not true. Sadly, from all the evidence I've seen Balmer is deluded and really does believe his hot air is true, so there's no crime.

This is absurd! (1)

biscon (942763) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946639)

Software patents have gone to far. I mean we should not even discuss it, it is absurd.
Of course microsoft can't collect money for code they never wrote.
I don't believe that ideas should be patentable and if something is so obvious that you can infringe on it
unknowingly, that should automatically void the patent.

Besides I think software developers should have the final word when drafting laws about software patents.
No sane developer who actually writes code these days should see any benefit in the current american system
(not unless they actually DID code the very first fucking listbox or something ;).
I am perfectly okay with normal copyright, some asshole shouldn't be able to rip my code, strip the copyright
and profit. But some vague idea I came up with, please help yourself.
Besides there is a reason why many devs like to hang out on IRC and in forums, we like to EXCHANGE ideas,
not guard them.

Like John Carmack once wrote on this site about sw patents:

"Yes, it is a legal tool that may help you against your competitors, but I'll have no part of it. Its basically mugging someone."
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=151312&cid=12701745 [slashdot.org]

I'll have no part of it either and sincerely hope we won't get that shit here in Europe.
But we probably will, since its good for parasitic business type leeches, who wanna profit from shit they didn't made.

Call Microsoft's bluff! (5, Interesting)

christian.einfeldt (874074) | more than 6 years ago | (#20947515)

There is a list of 1,573 people who have decided to call Microsoft's bluff by signing a list offering to be the first ones to be sued by Microsoft for supposedly "infringing" Microsoft's 235 patents. Although I am a lawyer, I don't practice Intellectual Property law, and so I am not rendering a legal opinion on this area. But as a practical matter, I can tell you that whenever I sue someone, I first send them a letter demanding payment, and then if they don't pay in short order, I do sue them. I am too busy on a day-to-day basis bluffing people, and those who think that real lawyers with real claims bluff people, they are dead wrong. Some day, someone is going to call your bluff, and maybe even sue you for falsely claiming that you have a right against them, so I advise my clients to think carefully about claiming in public that they can sue someone if, in fact, they have no true claims.

In this particular case, mere common sense would tell most practicing attorneys that if Microsoft had valid claims, it would simply start rolling out the lawsuits and collecting money. Think of all the copies of OpenOffice.org and GNU Linux that are drifting around the world!!! If Microsoft had valid claims against those the users or their distros, dontcha think that they would file suit against a really solid test case, and then trot out that case for everyone else in the world to see? Of course they would.

Here is a link to page 13 of the list:

[digitaltippingpoint.com] http://digitaltippingpoint.com/wiki/index.php?title=SMFM_list_page_13 [digitaltippingpoint.com]

So I am not buying Microsoft's questionable claims, and I have signed up for the list. Let's put an end to this questionable puffery! Microsoft, if you have a claim against me, sue me now, or shut up! You can serve me with a lawsuit here:

Christian J. Einfeldt
Law Offices of Christian J. Einfeldt
580 California Street, Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94104

In your complaint, Microsoft, you will want to specify which programs I am using. I am using openSUSE GNU Linux 10.2; Edgy Kubuntu; OpenOffice.org is my only office productivity suite, and so when you file suite against me, you might really want to stick a finger in my asking for an order barring me from using OpenOffice.org to write my reply briefs, because that is the tool I use for all my court briefs. I am also using Firefox, which you have heavily borrowed from, so please be sure to throw that in.

Oh, and I have installed about 100 copies of GNU Linux, OpenOffice.org and Firefox on various different computers for a public middle school in San Francisco, and I have also given out about 16 computers with those programs installed on them. So be sure to add a couple of causes of action for that, Brad Smith.

Hey, don't forget the fact that I started the "Sue Me First, Microsoft" list, where I very publicly questioned the veracity of your claims, so you would do well to add a couple of counts of defamation, since I am publicly calling into question both the veracity of your claims and your motivation for merely making a public fuss, without proving your claims.

But of course, I have nothing to worry about, because your claims probably are defeated by 1) obviousness; 2) prior art; and 3) limitations on patenting math. After all, if Microsoft could have patented 1 + 1 = 2, you would have done so, wouldn't you?
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