"Microsoft usually strikes patent deals with companies before
bringing cases to court, but a case earlier this year against GPS
navigation device vendor TomTom, which uses Linux in its devices,
was a notable exception.
"TomTom eventually agreed to pay Microsoft to settle the case,
which Microsoft insisted was a mere patent disagreement rather than
an attack against Linux.
"Not all Linux and open-source proponents felt the same way
about it, however, though most open-source companies -- which are
much smaller players than Microsoft -- would rather pay the
proprietary software company to protect themselves against
litigation than try to fight its deep pockets in court."