EU tells open source to start paying MS patent tax

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| EU Commissioner Kroes' deal with Microsoft creates real dangers to Europe's
| growing open source economy, warns the FFII. Using patent licenses that
| exclude businesses, the software monopolist has turned the EU competition
| ruling into a victory, and now gets implicit support from the Commission to
| proceed aggressively against its competitors.

Ah! The beauty of software patents!

Amazon Patents Including a String at End of a URL

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| On Tuesday, Amazon search subsidiary was awarded U.S. patent no.
| 7,287,042 for 'including a search string at the end of a URL without any
| special formatting.' In the Summary of the Invention, it's explained that 'a
| user wishing to search for 'San Francisco Hotels' may do by simply accessing
| the URL www.domain_name/San Francisco Hotels, where domain_name is a domain
| name associated with the web site system.' Here's the flowchart that helped
| cinch the deal.


Late night baseball games, Microsoft concessions evoke big yawns at open source
water cooler

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| It will benefit purveyors of proprietary software but not open source
| developers, agreed Michael Goulde, analyst of open source strategy at
| Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass. “Some open source developers believe
| that Microsoft should make its protocols available for use royalty free. In
| some cases, there are open source license restrictions that make it not
| possible for the software to include Microsoft licensed code – because you
| can’t downstream the license. So, unless Microsoft goes way beyond what it
| has agreed with the EU to do, only a subset of open source developers will
| have much interest. They’ll continue reverse engineering Microsoft protocols
| and doing the best they can." * * * *

Let's Make a Deal - The MS-EU Settlement

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| The patent part is terrible. Worse than terrible. They are not blocked from
| offering patent deals, only constrained as to how much to charge for a
| license, which is not and never was the issue. So they'll beef up those
| initiatives, I'm sure. However, the good part is that they were compelled to
| separate the patent license offer out and make it optional. Thanks, but no
| thanks. * *
| [...]
| I'm guessing Microsoft lawyers are high fiving each other, having snatched an
| important victory from utter and total defeat. The rest is excellent, of
| course, and in no way do I mean to detract from the hard work and persistence
| that the EU Commission has shown. However, I don't think they understand how
| seriously broken the US patent system is currently, and how easy it is to *
| abuse it, or they don't feel it's their job to fix the US problems, or how
| central patents are to Microsoft's current strategy against FOSS. * *