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Microsoft sells Linux technologies to LG



Microsoft sells Linux technologies to LG


Redmond (USA) – A few days after the handshake with Linux distributor Xandros, Microsoft has managed to sign a new cross-licensing agreement that brings into play the alleged, but never proven, related BigM patents to Linux. This time it is LG Electronics (LGE) that buys Microsoft’s legal protections, which in doing so protects itself and its customers from any legal reprisals by Microsoft.

“Through this agreement, LGE will be able to use Microsoft’s patents in its products, including embedded Linux-based devices,” reads the statement released by the two companies. Apparently, therefore, LGE recognizes Microsoft’s ownership of patents required for building embedded Linux kernel-based devices.

Microsoft, for its part, will purchase from LGE and MicroConnect Group (which manages several patents of the Korean company) the licenses for technologies “related to operating systems and computers”.

Financial details were not disclosed.

It should be noted that, unlike the agreements entered into with Novell and Xandros, here Microsoft speaks specifically of “license acquisition” and not simple non-belligerent pacts: a scenario expressly banned in the new GPL3 license.

To underline how LGE appears among the founding members of the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF), a non-profit organization founded in late 2003 with the aim of developing a Linux-based alternative to Microsoft’s Windows CE operating system.

“The deal is another example of how Microsoft is continuing to build bridges with other industry players based on intellectual property licensing,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s vice president of Intellectual Property and Licensing.

Windows mom recalled how, over the past year, she has racked up cross-licensing deals with Fuji Xerox, NEC, Nortel Networks, Novell, Samsung and Seiko Epson.