Linus Torvalds: Microsoft is bluffing on patents

Microsoft's aggressive defense of its intellectual property, which includes claims that Linux violates a number of its patents, is nothing more than "a marketing thing," according to Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel. "They have been sued for patents by other people, but I don't think they've -- not that I've gone through any […]

Microsoft's aggressive defense of its intellectual property, which includes claims that Linux violates a number of its patents, is nothing more than "a marketing thing," according to Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel.

"They have been sued for patents by other people, but I don't think they've -- not that I've gone through any huge amount of law cases -- but I don't think they've generally used patents as a weapon," Torvalds said. "But they're perfectly happy to use anything at all as fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the marketplace, and patents is just one thing where they say, 'Hey, isn't this convenient? We can use this as a PR force.'"

Torvalds made the comments during the second half of an interview conducted by the Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin on Oct. 16. The foundation is expected to make the rest of the interview publicly available on its Web site Monday. The foundation released the initial portion of the interview in January.

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Microsoft, Linux, Linus Torvalds, Patent, Patents, Kernel, Windows Kernel, Linux Kernel