Linus Torvalds takes issue with Microsoft's claims of patent infringement

In its most recent bout with Linux and the open-source community, Microsoft claimed that Linux distributions, along with other open-source software, actually infringe on its patents. The Redmond giant claimed that 235 of its patents have been violated by the Linux kernel, Linux graphical user interface and Open Office/other open-source applications. The company went on to say that it believes it has the right to demand royalties from Linux distributions.

Despite Microsoft taking a strong stance on its argument, Linus Torvalds, lead developer of the Linux kernel, failed to blink. Talking to InformationWeek, Torvalds simply said, "It's certainly a lot more likely that Microsoft violates patents than Linux does. If the source code for Windows could be subjected to the same critical review that Linux has been, Microsoft would find itself in violation of patents held by other companies."

Torvalds went on to reason that although "fundamental patents" for basic operating series were already filed in the 1960s, the protection for those patents have been expired for quite some time. He also suggested that Microsoft name the patents that it believes are being violated in order for its claims to actually be tested in court.

"Naming them would make it either clear that Linux isn't infringing at all (which is quite possible, especially if the patents are bad), or would make it possible to avoid infringing by coding around whatever silly thing they claim."

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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