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By Mark Raby Monday, May 14, 2007 07:52

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft's next big legal endeavor will be to bring down Linux, OpenOffice.org, and others for infringing on a total of 235 patents.

The software giant's head lawyer, Brad Smith, has blasted the two software alternatives as being blatant rip-offs of the expensive products created by Microsoft.

Smith says in a Fortune article that Linux's kernel infringes on 107 patents owned by Microsoft. In addition, he claims, OpenOffice.org illegally uses 45 Microsoft patents, with another 83 attributed to various other open-source programs.

Microsoft CEO also chimed in in the article, reportedly saying, "What's fair is fair. We live in a world where we honor and support the honoring of intellectual property."

Open source software and other freeware applications have always been a tricky issue for software copyright owners. Usually a program that copies off of someone else's intellectual property stays unnoticed and is not worth a big legal battle. OpenOffice.org and Linux, though, have become fairly successful alternatives to Microsoft's software.

source : www.tgdaily.com

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