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Microsoft, Amazon strike patent deal covering Kindle and Linux

Feb 23, 2010, 16:33 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Todd Bishop)

"Microsoft and Amazon.com have reached an agreement that gives each company a license to the other's patent portfolio, in a way that could revive one of the Redmond company's longest-running controversies. That's because, as part of the deal, Microsoft says it's granting Amazon patent-related "coverage" for its use of open-source and proprietary technologies in its Kindle e-reader, and its use of Linux-based computer servers.

"One practical effect of such cross-licensing deals, as they're known, is to head off potential patent disputes. In that way, the agreement amounts to a peace accord between the companies. At the same time, the deal could raise eyebrows in some corners of the technology world, if it's interpreted as Amazon implicitly endorsing Microsoft's claims that Linux and other open-source technologies violate its patents. Open-source advocates have long disputed those claims."

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