Why I'M Not Worried About the Microsoft Patent Threats Against Linux

Michael Feldstein, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, May 16, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a common theme in the reactions. "The experts and evidence all suggest that Microsoft is all bark and no bite in this particular case." Look at it more closely: "[Linux] potentially, not definitely, infringes 283 untested patents, while not infringing a single court-validated patent." And Microsoft won't name the patents, because, as Linus Torvalds writes, "Naming them would make it either clear that Linux isn't infringing at all (which is quite possible, especially if the patents are bad), or would make it possible to avoid infringing by coding around whatever silly thing they claim." He adds, "Don't you think that if Microsoft actually had some really foolproof patent, they'd just tell us and go, 'nyaah, nyaah, nyaah!'" Finally, as Feldstein argues, "Microsoft would likely be counter-sued for infringement by some very big players if they really went after Linux."
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