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Microsoft, Lexmark mum on details of new patent deal
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| Microsoft this morning announced a patent cross-licensing agreement with
| Lexmark International, the printing and imaging company. Given the dust-up
| over the Redmond company's recent patent lawsuit against TomTom, the natural
| question is whether the new patent agreement covers any open-source
| technologies Lexmark might be using. But Microsoft won't say.
| The terms of the licensing agreement are confidential, a representative of
| the Redmond company explained via email in response to my inquiry this
| morning: "As with all patent cross-licensing agreements, the specific terms
| and conditions of each deal are different, and the parties involved determine
| what elements they choose to discuss publicly based on the deal negotiated by
| both parties."
| Microsoft says it has struck similar licensing deals with printing and
| imaging companies in the past, including Hewlett-Packard, Brother Industries,
| Fuji Xerox, and Kyocera Mita.
[Mark Shuttleworth Interview]
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| Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won't
| say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: "It's an
| unsafe neighbourhood, why don't you pay me 20 bucks and I'll make
| sure you're okay," that's illegal. It's racketeering. What Microsoft
| is doing with intellectual property is exactly the same. It's a great
| company and I have great admiration for it, but this was not a
| well considered position.
| So you wouldn't do a deal?
| No, absolutely not. But the time will come when the folks at
| Microsoft who have a clear vision for the company as a participant
| in this community, rather than as a hostile antagonist, will win.
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