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OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal - Updated: IBM Speaks Also
Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:16 PM EST

Now the Open Invention Network is speaking out about the Novell-Microsoft agreement. I reproduce the statement in full, but the essence is this -- Novell doesn't need a "patent agreement" of any kind from Microsoft and neither do you:
OIN continues to support the Linux community’s ability to collaborate and innovate. Through the accumulation of patents that may be used to shield the Linux environment, including users of Linux software, OIN has obviated the need for offers of protection from others.

Update: We now also have a statement from IBM regarding the Novell-Microsoft patent deal:

Scott Handy, IBM's vice president of Linux and open source, said that the patent protections included in the Novell-Microsoft deal are unnecessary. "We aren't sure what Microsoft's intentions here are, but IBM has long asserted that we don't see the need for this coverage," Handy said. "To our knowledge, there has never been a patent suit against Linux, and it is our view that legal claims, if they exist, should be settled without involving end-user customers."

Handy said that Microsoft is trying to create "fear, uncertainty and doubt" around Linux because it poses a competitive threat.



**********************

OPEN INVENTION NETWORK ISSUES COMMENTS ON THE MICROSOFT-NOVELL DEAL

New York (November 21, 2006) – Jerry Rosenthal, chief executive officer of Open Invention Network, issued the following statement today:

“Numerous organizations have sought OIN’s opinion of the recent agreement between Microsoft and Novell. We are referring to the recent announcement regarding Novell and Microsoft’s collaboration; ostensibly to make it easier for Novell’s version of Linux to operate with Windows in corporate data centers.

“We at OIN believe that the openness and collaborative culture of the Linux community is an engine for innovation. It is clear that there is significant value in Linux community members’ intellectual property and patents.

“Hearing Microsoft agree that Linux is a major force in the information technology industry is welcome news. Many IT customers and software programmers have recognized that Linux is a first-rate computer operating system with performance, stability and cost-of-ownership that compares well with all its competitors, including Microsoft’s own offerings.

“Customers can only benefit from greater interoperability between Linux and Microsoft products. In fact, interoperability has long been a known requirement, and is a key driver behind Linux.

“Unfortunately, embedded in Microsoft's recent endorsement of Linux are claims regarding customers’ needing protection from patent attack. Those claims are baseless. In fact, there have been no patent suits against Linux. While patent disputes are not unheard of between and among software developers and distributors, they are almost always resolved between these commercial entities – not by dragging in end-user customers. Isn’t the real issue the fact that Microsoft is making such a threat against its own customers?

“OIN continues to support the Linux community’s ability to collaborate and innovate. Through the accumulation of patents that may be used to shield the Linux environment, including users of Linux software, OIN has obviated the need for offers of protection from others.

“In less than a year, OIN has accumulated more than 100 strategic, worldwide patents and patent applications that span Web / Internet, e-commerce, mobile and communications technologies. These patents are available to all as part of the patent commons that OIN is creating around, and in support of Linux. We stand ready to leverage our IP portfolio to maintain the open patent environment OIN has helped create."

About Open Invention Network

Open Invention Network is an intellectual property company formed to further the Linux environment by acquiring patents and ensuring their availability. It promotes a positive, fertile ecosystem for Linux, which in turn drives innovation and choice in the global marketplace. Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information go to www.openinventionnetwork.com.


  


OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal - Updated: IBM Speaks Also | 151 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Errers Hear
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:26 PM EST
If any

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT Here, please
Authored by: overshoot on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:27 PM EST
Links taste better when clicky.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: Nick_UK on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:30 PM EST
MS are really so arrogant in this. I can't name ONE
instance of MS innovating anything, so FUD speak to make
out they do is terrible.

Sure, they have mickey mouse patents etc. they can use,
but to state as Ballmer did that they need to 'protect
their innovation' is laughable.

Hopefully Novell will soon realise their mistake, and MS
will quickly learn (yet again) that these tricks just make
everybody despise them.

Nick

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:41 PM EST
PJ, I think you may want to break down the quote
"Customers can only benefit
from greater interoperability between Linux and Microsoft products. In fact,
interoperability has long been a known requirement, and is a key driver behind
Linux."
Use the same rationale, you put in all your articles, and use Novell's
comments (who has stated the same thing) to infuse the reader's to read between
the lines.

Thanks for all you do PJ

[ Reply to This | # ]

Breadth & Depth of knowledge of the opposition, Re: OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: martimus on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:45 PM EST

I stated in another thread that I thought M$ was doing this for the FUD value, and had they not needed to drop the FUD on us immediately for their Vista intro, it might have been very insidious, and therefore much more effective. Since they were so needy about it, every entity out there has been able to see the FUD for what it is and properly educate the broader market that M$ is just "whistlin' past the graveyard."

I think, if anything, this has just been another case of free (and good) publicity for Linux, with M$ getting a big $400M black eye.

---
To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: Billions for defense, but not one cent for dhimmitude.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: DustDevil on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:51 PM EST
The only thing that bothers me about OIN having any real teeth, is that the last
time I checked out their website, they only claimed ownership of about 15 or so
patents. Their supporters need to turn over more, so that they can properly
prepare for the coming battle.

---
All comments are my own, not that of my employer

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: esni on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:52 PM EST
The ambiguous wording of the APA made the SCO legal circus possible.

One should have thought that Novell at this point in time knew better than
signing an ambiguously worded contract.

And as the Novell-Microsoft deal is less than 3 weeks old and now subject to
disagreement between the parties, it must be rather ambiguous.

---
Eskild
Denmark


[ Reply to This | # ]

this just gets better...
Authored by: Latesigner on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 02:53 PM EST
Novell has damaged its' reputation, possibly past all repair, and Microsoft
outsmarted itself.
There was never any need for the deal and Microsoft has insured that, with
GPLv.3 accepted, it can never touch Linux or any other GPL code again.
Is this perfect or what?
Excuse me, I need room to really laugh.

---
The only way to have an "ownership" society is to make slaves of the rest of us.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 03:04 PM EST
So far I haven't heard a word of support for this deal except from Microsoft,
Novell and the ubiquitous A. Nony Mouse.

If this was intended by Microsoft as a strategy to split the Open Source
community, methinks it has utterly failed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Now that's an ironic thought...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 03:06 PM EST

With the MS-Novell deal, MS has effectively attempted to create a cloud of doubt over FOSS. Instead, it's a sign that MS acknowledges the capabilities of FOSS.

The end result of this whole mess could very well be that MS paid 100 Mil to have another round of FUD backfire on them.

MS: If you'd like to pay your marketing to advertise the benefits of FOSS software, you're quite welcome to do so directly.

RAS

[ Reply to This | # ]

The truth will out
Authored by: SilverWave on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 03:50 PM EST
TBH we don't know enough yet about the REAL reasons for the deal.
Some thoughts:
* Lots of money is going to Novell. Odd?
* There are lots of possible scenarios for this transfer of cash to Novell - but
we cant tell which is the correct one... yet.
*Given that the corp passing the cash to Novell is a competitor a knee jerk
"Its A Trap!" is just a sane first response.
*I'm confident that the truth will come to light eventually.
*With Eban Moglen helping to bring Novell into compliance...

...sooner rather than later :)



---
GPLv3 *OR LATER* has been vindicated
The "OR LATER" is vital
A GPL set in stone will be eroded over time. -SilverWave

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: K12_admin on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 04:42 PM EST
Going to try his again( if you think I am a troll the read my comment to my
original message)

PJ, I think you may want to break down the quote
"Customers can only benefit
from greater interoperability between Linux and Microsoft products. In fact,
interoperability has long been a known requirement, and is a key driver behind
Linux."
Use the same rationale, you put in all your articles, and use Novell's
comments (who has stated the same thing) to infuse the reader's to read between
the lines.

Thanks for all you do PJ

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 05:02 PM EST
"Isn’t the real issue the fact that Microsoft is making such a threat
against its own customers?"

yes it is - glad they pointed this out. I just hope they remember that when it
comes time to pay for vista upgrades.

we won't be upgrading to vista - and we won't chose suse either for our desktops
- it will be linux but we now know which one it won't be - thanks novell you
saved us some time in trying out distros - we won't even touch yours.

we are tired of lawyers and "IP" - we just want something that works
and we can forget about it - and that something is linux.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Has anyone considered
Authored by: Marc Mengel on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 05:41 PM EST
... that the REAL reason for the MS--Novell deal is that Microsoft was infringing on Novell's patents, and that this is payment for that, along with a confidentiality agreement on Novell's part, agreed to in order to get the deal done quickly?

Yes, Microsoft is now publicly spinning it the other way, but in my opinion that lends credence to the theory...

[ Reply to This | # ]

What most likely happened.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 05:46 PM EST
Novell and Microsoft were negotiating a deal to development a set of
interoperability products. Most likely driven by the marketing chaps of both
companies. The framework of the deal was worked out and then passed to the
lawyers. At this point every one else is cut out of the loop because all the
lawyers are going to do is clean up the language and make it “legal' and mere
mortals do not understand legalese. Microsoft lawyers under direction from
management introduce the patent thing. Novell lawyers see it but hey its just
standard patent protection so they let it stay in.

The deal is signed, hey the lawyers said it was ok, and by then it is too late.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 06:25 PM EST
I read the washington post online article today. :
----------------
"Microsoft says it has patent rights to some of the technology in Linux,
although it has never said exactly what those rights might be or what patents
are involved.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said if customers bought Linux from
anyone but Novell, they could face trouble.

"If a customer says: 'Look, do we have liability for the use of your
patented work?' Essentially, if you're using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the
answer is yes," Ballmer told eWeek.com recently, referring to the Linux
system sold by Novell."
------------------
Microsoft: show your proof, state what rights you are talking about, what
patents you are talking about, or SHUT UP.

How could an agreement, whose terms are not specified, as is the case between
novell and microsoft, where microsoft is not specifying which patents or which
rights are being violated, ever hold up in court? Is microsoft going to be the
next SCO that sues other parties while avoiding putting its evidence on the
table?

Microsoft is obviously wanting to create a precendent where if a party agrees to
these unspecified terms, its applicable globally. By doing this, Microsoft has
created a legal trojan horse for the whole linux community. Novell has truly
made a deal with the devil.

Steve Ballmer's own words prove that Microsoft is merely positioning themselves
to attack the Linux community in general.

Microsoft is an insiduous corporate predator.




[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM's response
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 07:13 PM EST
<p>I read today that IBM has already responded <a
href="link">http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS4468266798.html</a
></p>

<p>They have stated that this will only serve to benefit customers in
terms of interop. I agree to some extent that MS is "evil". But
reality is these are all companies trying to increase profit margins. It seems
to me that Linux is impeding MS growth, therefore if they can't beat
it...</p>

<p>Posting anonymously as I don't intend to create an account. Not trying
to troll or anything</p>

[ Reply to This | # ]

The fly in the ointment...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 07:27 PM EST
Isn’t the real issue the fact that Microsoft is making such a threat against its own customers?

Why, yes it is. And thank you Novell for making it all possible!

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal - Updated: IBM Speaks Also
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 21 2006 @ 11:37 PM EST
Even if M$ did take end users to court I wouldn't have a problem loosing
everything I own for my own freedom. Even if I had to pay for the costs for the
rest of my life I wouldn't have a problem with being taken to court. FOSS isnt
the only thing that offers freedom in this world but its something worth the
loss of money. Money is a material object. Freedom is the total opposite

[ Reply to This | # ]

OIN Statement on the Microsoft-Novell Deal - Updated: IBM Speaks Also
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 22 2006 @ 12:17 AM EST
How many shares of Microsoft does the U.S. government own again?

[ Reply to This | # ]

I fear this may simply be a Novell exit strategy
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 22 2006 @ 04:13 AM EST
[personal conspiracy theory - read if bored]

There are enough people in Novell to ensure the board knows EXACTLY what it is
doing, so maybe this was stage 1 of a sell-out? A sort of SCO style offer to
take the MS cash, stash it away and run while the business slowly topples over?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Time For a Counter-Attack?
Authored by: darkonc on Wednesday, November 22 2006 @ 03:52 PM EST
If we accept Novell's claim (un-contested by MS) that it was Microsoft who Pushed Novell for the patent agreement, and not the other way 'round, then I think that it's probably reasonable to make the accusation that it's Microsoft (and their customers) that are most in need of patent protection, and not the other way 'round.

  • Micorosoft requested the patent peace from Novell, not the other way 'round.
  • Microsoft has been slowly adding unix-like capabilities to Windows.
  • There have been, to date, no patent cases against Linux.
  • There have been a number of patent cases against Microsoft.
  • Microsoft has had to remove functionality from it's software as a result of these patent cases.
  • When Microsoft is in the wrong, it tends to claim the reverse (to divert attention from it's own guilt).
  • Microsoft keeps accusing Linux of patent problems (either directly or with proxies like SCO).

---
Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

[ Reply to This | # ]

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