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Microsoft's Samsung Android Patent Troll Win

Sep 29, 2011, 10:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)

[ Thanks to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for this link. ]

"First, Amanda McPherson, vice president of marketing and developer programs at The Linux Foundation, points out that you need to keep in mind that, "Patent licensing agreements are done every day in this industry. Unfortunately, this is business as usual. It's not surprising that in these cases, in particular, one of the parties is choosing to publicize them." In other words, it's business as usual, but in the interest of anti-Linux FUD, Microsoft wants to frighten companies.

"Andrew 'Andy' Updegrove, a founding partner of Gesmer Updegrove, a top technology law firm, observed, "I think that there are a few things to focus on when you read such an announcement:

"Was it a Linux only license? Note that in this case, Linux was only one element of the deal. The Linux only deals are sometimes between Microsoft and small companies that have little to gain by litigation

"Was it a one way license, or a cross license as well? If it's a cross license, then the importance - or validity - of the Linux elements may be low as it's part of a larger package, perhaps one that covers all of the patents of both parties

"And finally, as always, note that the terms are never revealed, so the amount of money that that may be changing hands may not only be low or high, but may also be calculated primarily on the basis of other patents besides the Linux-relevant ones.

"And, indeed the Samsung deal is not Linux only, it is a cross-license contract, and the terms, as usual, are a mystery."

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