IP FUD

‘FUD’ is the computer world’s cute term for incumbent’s habit of seeking to plant ‘fear, uncertainty and doubt” into the heads of their customers mere thoughts of going with competitors. “Noone ever got sacked for buying IBM” was the catch-cry until sometime in the 1980s. Microsoft has been a past master of it and continues to deploy it against open source alternative operating system Linux.

I wrote about this and the threat of a patent thicket in an essay I wrote on open source software and Microsoft is doing all it can to exploit the situation. I don’t say this unkindly to Microsoft. In helping themselves they are giving their clients a way through the patent thicket that many software producers say make software production rife with unmanageable uncertainty.

Courtesy of Slashdot, Information week has this story.

Microsoft will pick up IP lawsuit defense costs for companies that make windows devices. In light of all the IP suits flying around, it would appear as though Microsoft is picking sides and it might be better to side with Goliath when facing a patent wielding David.” From the article: “Microsoft lifted caps on the amount of legal fees it would reimburse to makers of embedded devices that are sued for intellectual property infringement as a result of licensing Microsoft code. The amount had previously been capped based on Microsoft’s volume of business with a device maker that licensed its embedded operating systems. Microsoft also said it would indemnify device makers against trade-secrets lawsuits, in addition to patent, copyright, and trademark suits.

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