Feeds

Polygamist Microsoft picks Amazon as latest Linux wife

Online retailer empties tills in Redmond pockets

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Amazon has agreed to a cross-licence patent deal with Microsoft over the online retail giant's use of technology in its Kindle e-reader product and Linux-based servers.

The financial tie-up, terms of which have been kept secret, is the latest in a series of agreements Microsoft has struck with vendors that use Linux in their products.

In March last year it signed an IP licensing deal with TomTom after the companies exchanged sue balls in court. The pair eventually agreed to play nice, much to the chagrin of many in the open source world.

Under the latest cross-licence patent deal, Amazon will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount of cash, presumably to prevent the Windows and Office vendor from accusing the retailer of infringing its patents. However, legal threats were kept out of Microsoft's latest statement on its demands for payment.

"The agreement provides each company with access to the other’s patent portfolio and covers a broad range of products and technology, including coverage for Amazon’s popular e-reading device, Kindle™, which employs both open source and Amazon’s proprietary software components, and Amazon’s use of Linux-based servers," said Microsoft.

"Although specific terms of the agreement are confidential, Microsoft indicated that Amazon.com will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount of money under the agreement."

In the past Redmond lawyers have claimed that free and open source software violated some 235 MS patents.

“Microsoft’s patent portfolio is the largest and strongest in the software industry, and this agreement demonstrates our mutual respect for intellectual property as well as our ability to reach pragmatic solutions to IP issues regardless of whether proprietary or open source software is involved,” said Microsoft deputy IP legal counsel Horacio Gutierrez.

The Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin dimissed what some might view as Amazon making an unholy pact with Microsoft over patents.

"It is worth noting that most technology companies have invested heavily in patents and that a cross-licensing agreement is a non-news event. The fact that two entities with expensive stockpiles of outdated weapons felt the need to negotiate détente is not surprising," he wrote on his blog.

"Let’s avoid second-guessing and implication. There’s nothing to see here. We have real code to write." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.