Linux  and Free Software :: Microsoft patents

Did you see this article on Computerworld?

OpenOffice violates patents

I am beginning to think that patents are useless and only large companies use them to kill any competition.

Patents can be and have always been useful. The question is, what can and can't be patented.

Anyway, I've been following this closely -- as well as some of the things MS people have been saying about Linux during their recent world tours.

I disagree with patents in general. It's my belief that *any* type of patent, whether for software, hardware, or anything else, is merely a way to curb competition and to protect profits.

The inventor of a product becomes he who buys a patent, regardless of who had the original idea or product (think light bulbs).

I see nothing wrong with innovation on top of existing ideas, or the reverse engineering of existing technology in an attempt to make it cheaper and more widely available.

What I am opposed to, however, is doing the above while claiming it to be your original idea (not giving proper credit).

INQ has some interesting articles:
this is like a cyclical thing with MS. they went after ODF two years ago and got slammed in court. most legal eagles say MS has no intention of going to court with this, but just wants to hurt linux after it's recent score with dell. as we all know sometimes it only takes mere accusation to ruin a reputation. i believe that is what MS is trying to do here.


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original here.