"The lawsuits rose above the ordinary run of patent
litigation because three of Microsoft's patents touched on areas
that are also covered by the open-source General Public License
Version 2 (GPLv2) copyright restrictions on Linux. Thus, the
lawsuit marked the first time that Microsoft had legally challenged
Linux's intellectual property.
"The case further heated up when TomTom countersued Microsoft
and joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), an open-source patent
protection group. But the case came to an abrupt end on March
"In return for an undisclosed licensing fee, TomTom can use
Microsoft's patents. However, according to a statement from Peter
Spours, TomTom's director of IP Strategy and Transactions, the
agreement "is drafted in a way that ensures TomTom's full
compliance with its obligations under the GPLv2, and thus reaffirms
our commitment to the open-source community."
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