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Microsoft Claims Patent On Elements of Embedded Linux?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the strange-bedfellows dept.

Linux Business 191

Preedit writes "An InformationWeek story points out a recent deal between Microsoft and Japanese printer maker Kyocera Mita. Under the agreement, Kyocera obtained from Microsoft a license to patents used in 'certain Linux-based embedded technologies.' The question the author asks is why Kyocera needs a patent license from Microsoft to develop its embedded Linux products."

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191 comments

Simple (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384635)

Agree to the deal or get a chair in your face.

Re:Simple (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384731)

> Agree to the deal or get a chair in your face.

Close, but those aren't the right laws. Here are laws.

MONKEYDOME!

0) Who run Microtown? STEVIE BALLMER RUN MICROTOWN!
1) Two competitors enter, ONE MONOPOLIST LEAVES!
2) Agree to the deal, or YOUR IP WE'LL STEAL!
3) Laissez-faire? FACE THE CHAIR!

What the corporations can learn from slashdotters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385945)

Companies need to stop paying the monkey and start spanking it!

Re:Simple (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385983)

...or get a chair in your face.

Worse than that.

"We believe that intellectual property licensing is an empowering way to bring innovation to the IT ecosystem," said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.
"Empowering way to bring innovation to the IT ecosystem"??? I've been read Vogon poetry that was less nauseating than that line.

Useless Article... (5, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384639)

I used to be an embedded Linux developer.

However, I could more thoughtfully comment on this if the article revealed just what patents Microsoft believes Kyocera to be violating. It could have nothing to do with Linux; moreover, it could very well be a patent on some method of printing which is specific to the Kyocera hardware and just happens to be implemented as a Linux driver.

Looks more like FUD against Linux than anything else.

Re:Useless Article... (2)

flymolo (28723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384685)

We know Microsoft has some patents involving anti-aliasing and other font rendering stuff. I would be more interested if they convinced an embedded developer, who wasn't using a GUI or printing or SMB.

Re:Useless Article... UCLA owns it (3, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385601)

We know Microsoft has some patents involving anti-aliasing and other font rendering stuff.

We also know that UCLA has recently sued over the non-licensed usage of it's patents by a number of software technology firms, including Microsoft.

All your stolen Microsoft patents are belong to Cali!

Re:Useless Article... (4, Interesting)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384719)

Absolutely,

From the article:

Is it adding proprietary Microsoft technology on top of embedded Linux?
Could be...

Hard to know what that means--it's deliberately vague.

Now that's some reporting. There is really nothing to see here.

Re:Useless Article... (1, Troll)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384881)

Gil, Babe... are you a /. poster or not. Just make up any facts that you need to post an opinion ;-)

Re:Useless Article... (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385169)

Looks more like FUD against Linux than anything else.
Depending on your point of view, it could also read as FUD against Microsoft.

Re:Useless Article... (4, Interesting)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385189)

(I keisseikki will mod me troll or flamebait, but...)

Based on the recent news of a major Korean company being under investigation for corruption/et cetera (this isn't localized to Korea, just mentioning it in proximity to this article), I will go on a limb and say microsoft is just wheeling and dealing and paying some exec to "go along with the script":

"We'll claim you're violating one or more of our patents; doesn't matter which ones, if they're pending or not; doesn't matter if later the USPTO tells us we're full of it; doesn't matter if prior art exists. WE rule this world, and if you play by our terms, Sonsaengnim, you'll make a buttload of money."

That's the business world for you.

Re:Useless Article... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21386263)

I used to be an embedded Linux developer.

How did you escape? Desolder your way out?

God Smack Your Ass !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21384643)

God Smack Your Ass !!

A few questions for Kyocera (5, Insightful)

compumike (454538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384653)

We know that Microsoft claims to hold patents that Linux users are infringing... but they won't tell us which ones. What's new?

So there are two possibilities: either they've got a specific one or two that they're really able to show Kyocera that are troublesome, or they've just got this massive library of "probable" ones that Kyocera decided to give in to. What would be more interesting to know is who approached who about the deal. What does it permit? What did that cost?

Anyway, this is at the stage where it isn't using patent law, but is just using corporate risk expectations. Very dangerous... which is why MSFT doesn't want to show their hand.

Software patent lifetimes should probably get quite a bit shorter, too...

--
Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:A few questions for Kyocera (2, Interesting)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384811)

Or they just cross-licensed some proprietary stuff and threw in the 'linux' word for fun. Kyocera has been working with MS since at least the TRS Model 100 days - they built the hardware, MS supplied the software and that was - what - 25 years ago?

Re:A few questions for Kyocera (3, Insightful)

krycheq (836359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385045)

Yes, but when does a "patent" become a hindrance to society by stifling innovation and competition? All that Microsoft has done is made a non-specific claim about owning patents and companies that can't pay the toll are afraid to move forward because they might end up sued into non-existence.

That's called a back-door monopoly... and it hurts us, the marketplace, and the implementation of the benefits of technology we should all enjoy.

Re:A few questions for Kyocera (2, Insightful)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385047)

Or maybe the agreement invoves certain benefits for the Korean firm from MS (money, etc), in exchange for providing the world with this PR stunt, that would complete their threat on linux alleged infringement on MS's IP...

Re:A few questions for Kyocera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385121)

Sorry, mixed up Korea, Japan, Kyocera and dinner. I meant Japanese.

Re:A few questions for Kyocera (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385245)

Microsoft
Patent Application N 32121323423412341234

A Method for providing some useful softwares routines and a commom layer of functionality on a environment where other programs can run atop.
(...)
We call this an Operating System, blah blah blah....

It's a trap! (3, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384661)

But seriously, it seems that Microsoft is going to keep after Linux until it has it surrounded on all sides. Then I suppose they'll get to a lawsuit. And, while Linux will be found to be free of MS patents, it will end up costing Microsoft's enemies so much to defend Linux that they will be forced into oblivion...

Re:It's a trap! (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384789)

But seriously, it seems that Microsoft is going to keep after Linux until it has it surrounded on all sides. Then I suppose they'll get to a lawsuit. And, while Linux will be found to be free of MS patents, it will end up costing Microsoft's enemies so much to defend Linux that they will be forced into oblivion...
Just like SCO/Microsoft did to IBM and Novell? Yes...

Re:It's a trap! (2, Informative)

memojuez (910304) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385127)

Novell and IBM had deeper pockets than SCO. Microsoft infused enough cash to keep SCO going for awhile.

Japanese culture? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21384665)

My uncle works in IT for a Japanese company of some size. He often speaks of the Japanese management as if this were still the eighties and sometimes its almost racist,so I apologize for him if this is insulting to anyone so take this with a heaping dose of salt.

He thinks that it goes against the Japanese culture to use a technology without paying for it, that it shows disrespect to not pay for software licenses. He is not even allowed to consider using Linux or any other OSS for that matter.

Re:Japanese culture? (4, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385193)

He thinks that it goes against the Japanese culture to use a technology without paying for it, that it shows disrespect to not pay for software licenses. He is not even allowed to consider using Linux or any other OSS for that matter.


Many companies I've known won't use software if they aren't paying someone for support and a license (and, often, particular support guarantees and/or performance warranties.) I don't know anything about Japanese culture, but in business the need to have some else that's feet can be held to the fire if something goes wrong is a big deal.

Of course, you can get paid support (and sometimes licensing, when the software is under a dual OSS/commercial licensing model) for most OSS you might want to adopt in a business environment, so neither cultural nor business-based reluctance to use software without paying for it should be a major barrier to OSS adoption.

Ah, yes... I also... wha?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21386265)

> I don't know anything about Japanese culture, but in business the need to have some else that's feet can be held to the fire if something goes wrong is a big deal.

I have a slight idea of what "have some else that's feet can be held to the fire" could mean, but since I'm not Japanese nor from the US*, I won't put my hand into the fire... :-)

* I am an American, since I live in the American continent. Calling the US "America" is foolish.

Re:Ah, yes... I also... wha?!? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386491)

* I am an American, since I live in the American continent. Calling the US "America" is foolish.
Doesn't the US have a trademark on America® like it does on Land of the Free®?

Re:Japanese culture? (5, Informative)

tbird20d (600059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385351)

I work for Sony, putting Linux into many different Sony products. I also lead the CE Linux Forum, which has a number of large of members from Japan. I can assure you that Linux is used in Japan in droves, and that the range of practices for obtaining Linux, from paying a vendor to downloading directly from kernel.org, is as broad there as anywhere else in the world.

Re:Japanese culture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385481)

Good to know. I'll let him know, next time the topic comes up. I think part of it is just his old Skool pride in Big Iron Unix that he started with in the 80's. I've always heard that you never give up the world view that you had when you were in your mid 20's.

Re:Japanese culture? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386361)

I've always heard that you never give up the world view that you had when you were in your mid 20's.

So, I'll always remain an open-source, file-sharing, anti-corporate commie?

/* scribbles a note: check this when I'm seventy */

Re:Japanese culture? (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385477)

He thinks that it goes against the Japanese culture to use a technology without paying for it, that it shows disrespect to not pay for software licenses. He is not even allowed to consider using Linux or any other OSS for that matter.

What if they donate some money to antarctic penguin preservation?
         

Re:Japanese culture? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385523)

WTF i can't stand it anymore. The japanese are homo sapiens. OK! Piss off a japanese guy and he'd probably punch you in the face just like any run of the mill redneck. No japanese are going to give you a fucking rimjob as a token of hate. This is fucking ridiculous.

Re:Japanese culture? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385631)

I'm living in Japan at the moment...;-) In fact, I can see a huge Kyocera building from my back door. It's the headquarters I think, about a 10 minute bike ride away. It's tempting to go in and ask a few questions...:-)

However, it would appear that many Japanese have no problem using linux at all:
(Here's a list of 16 Japanese linux distros from Distrowatch :-))
http://distrowatch.com/search.php?category=All&origin=Japan&basedon=All&desktop=All&architecture=All&status=All [distrowatch.com]

And, of course, Japanese commercial distros, such as Turbolinux, etc. don't seem to have a problem using linux, etc.

Neither does the Japanese government, or the Tokyo Stock Market seem to have a problem using linux:
http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=775707 [marketwire.com]

You, (and your uncle, apparently), need to get out more...:-)

Re:Japanese culture? (1)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385709)

... so take this with a heaping dose of salt. He thinks that it goes against the Japanese culture to use a technology without paying for it, that it shows disrespect to not pay for software licenses. He is not even allowed to consider using Linux or any other OSS for that matter.
A mountain of salt; so why mod it 5 Informative? I agree that Japanese culture results in less petty crime. Japanese cities are as safe as any to walk around in even at night. To the extent that using COMMERCIAL software without paying for it is theft, then I agree that the Japanese as a group are unlikely to steal. LICENSES do not always require payment. Anyone who believes that FOSS must be paid for is simply uninformed, and let me assure you that, as a group, the Japanese are not stupid. I offer as further proof that many Japanese are avid supporters of FOSS. I happen to work a lot with FreeBSD and the Japanese are major contributors. If you want you can check out the Japanese FreeBSD web site [freebsd.org], although it is in Japanese.

Re:Japanese culture? (1)

Nero Nimbus (1104415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386383)

As I was reading the end of your reply, I swear I thought that URL said "freebsod.org." Which made me think it was a link to a pirate copy of Windows. Yeah, I've had a long week.

Re:Japanese culture? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385799)

I call FUD.

This is rumor spread by an AC who wants to imply that Linux isn't good enough. And telling us to "take this with a heaping dose of salt" doesn't make it worthy of being modded-up. Go tell Steve Ballmer that if he wants to pay you to post here, at least register for an account and delete it the next day. This subtle anti-Linux, anti-Mac, anonymous posters have become more common over the last two weeks.

Re:Japanese culture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21386185)

Isn't the popular open source language RUBY (the one used in Ruby on Rails) and a significant part of its library from Japan?
Is there really something with the japanese culture then?

To me it is: FUD and more FUD

Re:Japanese culture? (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386485)

I work for a major japanese electronics company (in software development); they've slowly been getting more and more enthusiastic about linux etc, but it's a very slow process. The main driving factor I see behind reluctance to use linux and other free software is not "respect", but rather fear and risk-aversion -- they're used to the old way, and it kinda works most of the time, so they don't want to change. I think this is true in big companies anywhere in the world, but it's especially true in Japan where people tend to be very risk-averse.

One of the ways that it seems to be changing is that more and more of the small companies that are contracted to do various development tasks are specializing in linux development. Smaller companies are much faster moving, and this way it "feels" sort of the same to the big company.

[These are just my personal observations, of course...]

Probably a case of CYA (5, Insightful)

Arabani (1127547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384671)

Kyocera Mita appears to be a "small" company - revenues for the parent corporation (Mita is their printer division, it appears) were a little shy of $3 billion in 2006, while Epson had revenues of $12.7 billion last year. Granted, I'm not sure how valid this comparison is, but if this disparity is typical, it could very well be that Kyocera decided it would be safer to play Microsoft's game than to potentially face a court battle they would have trouble fighting.

They Don't. (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384675)

The GPL states that they may only distribute the code if they accompany it with the rights for any derivatives to use any patents it infringes. If they discover that they infringe some patents in Linux then they must stop distributing Linux until they have obtained a license to the patents that is compatible with the GPL (which means that anyone who is in the transitive closure of recipients of the code from them also gains the license). In summary, if they have obtained a license from Microsoft then either they are in violation of the GPL or no one else needs to obtain such a license and Microsoft's FUD evaporates in a puff of logic.

Re:They Don't. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21384769)

The GPL states blah, blaw, blah, blaw, blah, blaw...
Yes and what does this have to do with anything? The GPL has been proven to be unenforcable, so Microsoft can feel free to walk all over it (as they have been doing). Really.

Re:They Don't. (1)

graviplana (1160181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384793)

Proven huh. Hmm. Smells fish to me, those absolutes you wield....Care to post with a user account?

Re:They Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385013)

Care to post with a user account?
Why would that make any difference?

Re:They Don't. (3, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384863)

The GPL has been proven to be unenforcable

Show us the the source of this statment, or stuh teh fkuc up and go back to the caves of Redmond.

Re:They Don't. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385053)

Yes and what does this have to do with anything? The GPL has been proven to be unenforcable
Darl? Is that you? At any rate, even in the incredibly unlikely scenario that it was unenforcable/unconstitutional/unconciable, it would revert to the default under the law, which means no right to distribute at all. And if you bring up the heavy drug-incuced logic SCO claimed that it would somehow be converted to public domain code, I'll laugh at you a second time.

Re:They Don't. (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386163)

...or they obtained all the patent rights, not just the license itself. This way they can relicense the patent as they see fit - like, release it on GPL.

Unlikely but not impossible.

Re:They Don't. (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386529)

You are assuming that these licensed patents are to be used in the linux kernel itself instead of "certain Linux-based embedded devices." It's entirely sane that a linux-based embedded device might include software that isn't in the linux kernel. In fact it's guaranteed that there will be software that isn't in the linux kernel involved.

But you sure sounded smart there for a minute.

Not just fud... (4, Interesting)

tqft (619476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384747)

I think it is more than fud...

By binding potential developers (and we will may never see what is in the agreement in total) to MS it may make it a lot harder for them to deliver products that work with linux.

Now everytime they go to release a driver legal are going to have to have a good hard look at driver and the MS agreement.

How long before it gets to be too much hard work and they not bother?

"developers, developers, developers" is still true. Without delivery of new products any OS will die. Kyocera Mita make stuff people want to use in business settings - printer/fax machines and stuff like that.

Or Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21384809)

"Is it adding proprietary Microsoft technology on top of embedded Linux?"

These MS trolls are getting boring. We get it, they're evil. Complain about something else for a while :(

Re:Or Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21384901)

Something else :O
Let the handful of linux fanboy trolls feel that their opinion is relevant....

Standad MS business practice... (0, Troll)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384823)

...started when Bill Gates ported BASIC.

The practice of making money off others peoples work.

Re:Standad MS business practice... (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384975)

"...started when Bill Gates ported BASIC."
He didn't port basic. He wrote a Basic interpreter for the 8080!
I am not a Microsoft fan. In fact I am a Linux user but give me a break.
If Bill Gates ported basic then the Samba team ported Microsoft networking and the Mysql team ported SQL!
Porting means you have the source code to a program and you get it to run on a new cpu. Gates, with some help wrote a Basic interpreter for a tiny cpu in assembly. He WROTE a version basic for the 8080. He didn't port it.

Re:Standad MS business practice... (4, Interesting)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386037)

Just to make sure Samba gets credit where samba is due... They wrote the spec, not Microsoft. If it weren't for them CIFS wouldn't exist as it does today. MSFT embraced and extended as always.

Re:Standad MS business practice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21386063)

It's widely accepted that Gates cribbed from public domain sources. Try google!

they're pretty bad poker players too (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384831)

It looks like Kyocera don't recognise a bluff when they see one.

Maye we should all get in touch with them and say that we might own patents that they may be infringing. Just to be sure, they need to sign this licensing agreement and pay $xxxx for an assurance that we won't sue them in the future.

This seems to be just what MS have done, but being bigger and scarier than we are, they can get a way with it.

Re:they're pretty bad poker players too (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385299)

This is just downright INFURIATING that Kyocera is so blind and pliant to mshaft.

Sometimes, retribution just takes too damn long. Life would be so nice if corruption and racketeering were smacked hard and fast more often than few an far in between /far/few in between.

If I were Korean, I'd start (like in the movies) wielding some baseball bats in the mshaft boardroom -- AND waking up the Korean staff that they are being screwed by ms tactics. Sometimes, you just sniff the money and pass, not take. Dammit! Makes me wonder if when it comes to occupation and software if Korean government and business are wusses or like the dollar. Just tell ms to go to hell, Kyocera. Show your balls!

Tony Leung did in Lust Caution. Don't you businessmen have balls?

http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200711/200711150007.html [chosun.com]

Re:they're pretty bad poker players too (1)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385445)

Maybe NS offered Kyocera big bucks to sign onto the patent agreement like they did with Novell.

Maybe were reading this deal the wrong way.... (4, Interesting)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384835)

What does Kyocera get? The right to use patented Microsoft technology in its printers, copiers and "certain Linux-based embedded devices."

Maybe Kyocera just licensed Fonts/ODBC or some other mundane MS technology to use in their products. Food for thought.

Enjoy,

Re:Maybe were reading this deal the wrong way.... (2, Informative)

James Youngman (3732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384935)

I think you have hit the nail on the head there. I'd bet that the technology under consideration is Microsoft's fonts (or perhaps the mechanism for using the associated rendering hints).

Re:Maybe were reading this deal the wrong way.... (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385605)

Well, as for rendering hints, if that were the case then either Microsoft told some pretty big lies or we'd be talking about a patent deal with Apple or Adobe instead (patent holders on hinting in TrueType and Type 1/PostScript respectively I believe). As for using Microsoft's actual fonts, that would be a copyright license, not patent (maybe design patent? I doubt it though). Could be maybe a license of ClearType [wikipedia.org] maybe if it's font-related, but that applies more to rendering text on an LCD display than printers as I understand. Other than that, I don't know that Microsoft really owns any meaningful font-related technologies, but then again I'm no expert.

Re:Maybe were reading this deal the wrong way.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385007)

That sort of rational thought has no place on slashdot.

Can't you just make up some crazy theory that is absurd on its face? I'm sure you would be modded +5 insightful.

Re:Maybe were reading this deal the wrong way.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385555)

YES - Everyone is jumping to the conclusion that MS is claiming rights to the concept of embedded linux rather than some incidental technology this project might need. Probably the claims MS is making in all of these cases derive from Samba not the linux kernel itself. Samba may not violate MS copyright because it is developed independently, but in certain legal jurisdictions one could at least argue that MS intellectual property is involved. Typically in these cases claims are made against businesses, not individuals or non-profits which may be why MS has not made a claim directly against Samba. Like MS or not Samba is used in order to inter-operate with Windows and MS might actually have some legitimate claims. Of course it is reasonable to attack MS for obfuscating the basis of their claims.

Re:Maybe were reading this deal the wrong way.... (2, Informative)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385697)

Probably the claims MS is making in all of these cases derive from Samba not the linux kernel itself. Samba may not violate MS copyright because it is developed independently, but in certain legal jurisdictions one could at least argue that MS intellectual property is involved.

Like MS or not Samba is used in order to inter-operate with Windows and MS might actually have some legitimate claims.


I've heard the Samba IP argument before. It doesn't hold water (IANAL). Windows/DOS networking (Netbios/SMB) was born out of a joint IBM/3Com/Microsoft venture back in the 80s. Microsoft owns about as much IP in Samba as 3Com and IBM do. Microsofts enhancements (bastardization ?) of kerberos authentication entitles them to no additional IP or innovation points.

My 2-bits.
Enjoy,

Once again (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21384897)

We are seeing the conversion of many ex serious IT sites to simple yellow press. Nowdays you only need one half-factoid to start a rain of speculation and pseudo-conspiratorical theories. Oh... and you only nned one site to start it. hen you will get a thousand of other repeaters who, just without an appice of self-criticism will just brainlessly repeat the whole thing... and add some more.

And often, the reality is just easier and more mundane....

Re:Once again (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385933)

A happy Windows user and developer, And PROUD of it!

Curious signature....

Most of us call ourselves computer programmers, not windows developers. We can code on anything from Mainframes down to iButton devices. Are you saying you have never programmed for a non-Microsoft platform? How about Microsoft (TM) OS/2? What about Microsoft Xenix?

Why do you think all these Microsoft articles are a vast right wing Unix conspiracy instead of a attempt to report on current Microsoft actions as it relates to the companies past behavior?

Just curious,
Enjoy.

It's a patent to prevent M$ IP in Linux (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385033)

What does Kyocera get? The right to use patented Microsoft technology in its printers, copiers and "certain Linux-based embedded devices."

This seems to say that Kyocera will get it's ass in a sling putting Microsoft crap into an embedded linux cellphone or something. This is hardly what the article title seems to be suggesting. In fact, tfa seems to suggest the M$ is allowing certain linux embedded devices to employ it's IP. I hate M$ just as much as the next linux geek, but I call bullshit whichever side of the fence it's on.

Do they know "exactly" what they licensed??? (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385049)

I find this to be rather ridiculous! Did they buy a license to use "all" microsoft patents? Without since explicitly defined range of identified patents, then they didn't explicitly buy anything at all. Microsoft must have identified which patents, in particular, they feel Linux is violating or else a Japanese company wouldn't have been persuaded to buy it. It goes against everything I know of Japanese personality to buy anything "nebulous." If they bought "protection" from microsoft, I'd be inclined to believe that. That much does fit the Japanese personality traits I am familiar with.

So I'm really curious as to what the nature of the deal was. Did they license specific patents or did they buy protection from law suits? And if they bought "law suit protection" then microsoft is once again guilty of organized crime.

Re:Do they know "exactly" what they licensed??? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385133)

Microsoft must have identified which patents, in particular, they feel Linux is violating or else a Japanese company wouldn't have been persuaded to buy it
Force Japanese company to sign a non-disclosure agreement? ;-)

Now Kyocera IS infringing? (2, Insightful)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385051)

Seems to me, Kyocera needs to release the added "MS IP" code they are using as required by the GPL ASAP!
If the Linux source code Kyocera is using is really containing "IP" from Microsoft, we should be able to see what the heck Kyocera licensed.

In your dreams Monkey Boy (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385067)

I'm guessing this wasn't the core of what Kyocera needed. It's just as likely MSFT threw it in there as a FUD grenade target of poopertunity. An IP stink bomb.

This whole thing is just so...seedy. This is not how a supposedly world class company acts. It would be far more effective if they fielded high quality products at reasonable prices. Or is that a quaint concept nowadays?

Of course, with telcos spying on Americans, banks and credit card companies nickel and diming customers to death at will and collection agencies routinely operating outside the law with little fear of accountability...maybe this is the new standard in big corp conduct. We're all the poorer if it's true.

Flexible Business Ethics (2, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385071)

I'd give my eye teeth to know whether the same kind of effort Microsoft put forth unsuccessfully in Nigeria worked in the more understated environment of the Japanese corporate world. I doubt anything will ever be proven, but watch out for a quid pro quo down the road somewhere.

La Cosa Nostra! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385105)

That this Japanese company is forced to pay shake-down money to a company that DOES NOT OWN THE TECHNOLOGY THEY ARE DEMANDING PAYMENT FOR!, means that La Cosa Nostra is alive and well but instead of being headquartered in New York or Chicago or Las Vegas (or Cuba), they have put down new roots in Redmond Washington. The technology was developed elsewhere by other people. Thank God Don Knuth published "The Art of Computer Programming" so many years ago. It covers thousands of algorithms (basically mathematical statements) covering computing, and thus, a source of prior art for all of the so-called patents that Microsoft so greedily tries to get (basically by checking a copy of the book out from the Library --they are too cheap to buy their own copy), and patenting everything in sight, then taking all and sundry to court for patent violation. When prior art is called, they say whoops, sorry, and in the mean time, the market has been swallowed by them (again). Bastards! Lying, stealing, cheating Bastards! Morally bankrupt and without a shred of decency, BASTARDS!

Re:La Cosa Nostra! (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385729)

"Bastards! Lying, stealing, cheating Bastards! Morally bankrupt and without a shred of decency, BASTARDS!"

they consider this flattery. Don't waste your breath.

Tell me what I am missing here. (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385123)

Under the deal, Microsoft gets to add patented Kyocera Mita technology to its Windows and Office products. What does Kyocera get? The right to use patented Microsoft technology in its printers, copiers and "certain Linux-based embedded devices."

Kyocera [kyocera.com] makes everything from ball-point pens to machine tools.

Kyocera is interested in things like data security in printing. Kyocera Mita America's Data Security Kit Offers Critical Data Protection of Stored Data on Color Multifunctional Products [kyoceramita.com] [November 14, 2007]

Microsoft is also interested in things like data security in printing.

Tell me why the Geek trots out his paranoia every time two companies that compliment each other sign a cross-licensing agreement.

unprecedented evile claims populaton/planet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21385139)

the patentdead billionerrors just act it out.

in the end, it's no contest. the creators always have first dibs. cutting the strings on a few greed/fear/ego based puppets is just a minor parlor trick. time to get real. the lights are coming up all over now. take a second to look in the sky once in awhile, starting early in the morning.

micro management has never worked. it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster.

we're intending/expecting for the nazis to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather'.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab [google.com]
=wv&oi=property_suggestions&resnum=0&ct=property-revision&cd=1

the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption.

fortunately there's an 'army' of angels, coming yOUR way

no need to be afraid/dismayed, it is the way it was meant to be.

the little ones/innocents must/will be protected.

after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit?

for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way), there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available.

beware the illusionary smoke&mirrors.con

all is not lost/forgotten.

no need to fret (unless you're associated/joined at the hype with, unprecedented evile), it's all just a part of the creators' wwwildly popular, newclear powered, planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

or, is it (literally) ground hog day, again? many of US are obviously not interested in how we appear (which is whoreabull) from the other side of the 'lens', or even from across the oceans.

vote with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable.

we still haven't read (here) about the 2/3'rds of you kids who are investigating/pursuing a spiritual/conscience/concious re-awakening, in amongst the 'stuff that matters'? another big surprise?

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

If you read closely, (3, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385377)

it only says they're gaining the right to use Microsoft IP in embedded Linux devices. It doesn't say they were using the property already or that there was any infringement. Kyocera could make this deal and start using Microsoft IP that they were not using beforehand and Microsoft could word it exactly the same way. Kyocera could gain the permission to use Microsoft tech combined with Linux and still not plan on using it, and Microsoft could still word it the same way.

Beginner's Guide to MS Linux Patents? (1)

vurg (639307) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385479)

Okay, I haven't really followed the history of Microsoft and its Linux patents. Can someone point out the background story of the whole "Microsoft can sue Linux users because it holds patents" thing? What parts of Linux (kernel or distro?) does Microsoft supposedly own? Thanks.

Re:Beginner's Guide to MS Linux Patents? (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385801)

Microsoft won't say. And they've stated publicly that the reason they won't say is that if they did there's a high risk that the Linux community would either remove the infringing material or invalidate the patents in question.

Re:Beginner's Guide to MS Linux Patents? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385903)

ANAL, but i can't see that standing up in court.

reason being that you can't knowingly allow someone to commit a crime so that you may profit from it.

the other problem with that tactic is the moment they DO sue someone all the details will come out and IF there is anything to fix, it'll get fixed and then the game is over.

I suspect they will continue to try bully everyone and make them sign NDA's to prevent their bogus claims being shot to pieces.

having said that, i think the reason they wont say is because their claim is FUD and they have nothing on linux.

I claim prior art (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385569)

I distinctly recall Microsoft stealing tons of things before.

Does that count?

By the way, how is my patent for the lightbulb coming?

Microsoft's Long Term Plan (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385625)

If they can tie up enough hardware and software distributors and make it difficult to release anything commercially for linux, it will help kill it off or at least reduce it back down to a mere hobby and no longer a threat.

Once the next generation of hardware comes out, and you cant get a driver as its so tied up in the legal world that it can never escape, what will you have left to run? Why, officially endorsed Microsoft software and hardware of course.

It wont happen today, or tomorrow, but they have the time and money to think *really* long term ( like in decades ) on this

FAT is the answer can't believe you all missed it (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385859)

it's obvious. kyocrea probably want to use FAT on a parition in the embedded system and MS has convinced them they need to pay for it.

my guess the reason is they need a filesystem both linux and windows can r/w easily.

s/SCO/MS/Source (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21385977)

There were a few who bought SCOSource licenses out of fear too, without actually thinking through whether or not there might be any validity to the claims. Kyocera has most likely just writ that large across their forehead.

Of course, it's always possible that Kyocera told them "We won't buy a license unless you show us the patents under NDA" and MSFT agreed, but I doubt it. Most likely they are just being extor^H^H^H paying protec^H^H^H buying insurance.

Probably XPS (3, Informative)

AirLace (86148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386025)

This is likely to be about XPS, the Microsoft XML Paper Specification, Microsoft's PS/PDF successor. I'd guess that Kyocera has written an XPS implementation for Linux, and wants to deploy it to support uses printing directly from XPS-enabled software. An open source XPS implementation was written within a few weeks of the release of the XPS spec -- maybe they're even just shipping that: http://www.ndesk.org/Xps [ndesk.org]

The spec is freely available, but the introductory paragraphs in the spec suggest that implementing it without licenses is not permitted.

speaking of kyocera... (-1, Offtopic)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21386419)

My first cell phone was made by them. I got it free with a contract, and it practically fell apart before the term was even over. Not even embedded Linux could convince me to get another product from them...
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