Microsoft and Novell agree to disagree on claimed Microsoft patent infringements

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Redmond (WA) - Following a statement of Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer, in which he accused Linux offerings to infringe on Microsofts intellectual property, the company released a brief "additional perspective." According to the company, "Microsoft and Novell have agreed to disagree on whether certain open source offerings infringe Microsoft patents and whether certain Microsoft offerings infringe Novell patents."

Rather than finding common ground on the IP issue, Microsoft said that "the agreement between our two companies puts in place a workable solution for customers for these issues, without requiring an agreement between our two companies on infringement."

The statement publsihed on the firm's website continues:

"We at Microsoft respect Novell's point of view on the patent issue, even while we respectfully take a different view. Novell is absolutely right in stating that it did not admit or acknowledge any patent problems as part of entering into the patent collaboration agreement. At Microsoft we undertook our own analysis of our patent portfolio and concluded that it was necessary and important to create a patent covenant for customers of these products. We are gratified that such a solution is now in place."

According to a report from Newsfactor, Steve Ballmer explained that the alliance with Novell was a solution was a way to address the problem that Linux uses the firm's IP: "We've had an issue, a problem that we've had to confront, and because open-source Linux does not come from a company - Linux comes from the community - the fact that that product uses our patented intellectual property is a problem for our shareholders," he said.