Canonical is the corporate sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. The software is best known for its desktop version of the open source operating system but also offers a server version and is developing software to run mobile devices.
The executive responded to rumours that claimed that the vendor would follow in the footsteps of www.vnunet.com, www.vnunet.com and www.vnunet.com in signing a Linux patent licensing agreement with Microsoft.
"We have declined to discuss any agreement with Microsoft under the threat of unspecified patent infringements," Shuttleworth wrote on his blog.
"Allegations of 'infringement of unspecified patents' carry no weight whatsoever. We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together. A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for."
Shuttleworth pointed out that patent licensing companies pose a far greater risk than Microsoft, and that a Microsoft agreement won't protect users from those threats.
Patent licensing companies use patents solely to generate licence revenues but don't sell any products that are based on the patents. NTP last year www.vnunet.com out of Blackberry maker NTP and Microsoft is been in a prolonged www.vnunet.com with Eolas over a patent that allegedly covers its Internet Explorer browser.
Microsoft is trying to improve the interoperability between its software and open source alternatives through, but the software vendor also continues to insist that is should be compensated for its patents that open source software allegedly violates.
The firm in May claimed that it had identified 235 patents that open source applications are violating, but declined to identify any of the individual patents. Microsoft also has repeatedly said that it has no interest in filing legal claims against individual developers or end users of open source software.
Instead of requiring users and developers to pay of its intellectual property, Microsoft is looking at Linux vendors to do so.
Ubuntu www.vnunet.com in refusing to pay Microsoft for its patent portfolio.
Ubuntu repels Microsoft patent threat
By Tom Sanders on Jun 19, 2007 11:52AM