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Is Microsoft finally taking Linux to court?


Once a year, Microsoft president Steve Ballmer, would proclaim that Linux violated some of Microsoft patents. Then, he wouldn’t do anything about it. Now, perhaps, he has.

In the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Microsoft sued Tom-Tom (PDF Link) on the ground that Tom-Tom’s in-car navigation devices violate eight of its patents. At least three of these patents, concerning file management, reference TomTom’s Linux kernel implementation.

This is the first time that Microsoft has ever filed a Linux patent suit over Linux, despite its multiple claims. That said, according to Todd Bishop, “Microsoft says open-source software is not the intended focal point of the action.”

In the past, Microsoft has supported legal action against Linux. Microsoft infamously funneled money to SCO to fuel its lawsuits against IBM and other Linux-using companies. With SCO’s complete failure to even prove that it had any rights to Unix, never mind Linux, there was no longer any even half-credible legal actions against Linux.

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