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Microsoft threat to Europe’s Linux users?

Linux users in the U.K. could face a greater threat from Microsoft than previously thought, although experts agree that British open-source users are in far less danger than U.S. users from Microsoft’s claim that open-source software infringes its patents.

Microsoft has claimed that Linux and other open-source software infringe 235 of its patents. Although the company has refused to say which patents are involved, the risk must be lower in the U.K. than in the U.S. because the company has far fewer patents in the U.K., argued Andrew Katz, a solicitor at Moorcrofts Corporate Law, last week.

However, Microsoft does have more patents affecting the U.K. than the 51 U.K. patent applications Katz quoted, because Redmond also has a few hundred European patents which might have force here, depending on the decisions of U.K. courts, said David Pearce, an associate at Nottingham-based patent attorneys Eric Potter Clarkson, on the IPKat blog.

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Microsoft, Windows, Linux, Open-source, Open source, UK, Europe

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