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Microsoft has 'no immediate plans' to sue over Linux patent infringement claims

After Microsoft made the claim that Linux infringes on 235 of its patents, some folks became worried that the company might begin suing companies who use OSS. Even individual users have launched a 'Sue Me First' campaign, challenging the company to "put its lawyers where its mouth is" and prove the patent infringement.

Fortunately, Microsoft might not attempt to succeed where the SCO failed - at least not yet, anyway. In a statement emailed to ZDNet UK (though, strangely, posted on ZDNet Asia), a Microsoft spokesperson assured us that they would not litigate for now. "If we wanted to go down that road we could have done that three years ago" said Mr. Spokesperson. Funny - everyone was kinda under the impression that Microsoft has already been there, done that (for a recap on Microsoft's relationship with the SCO: MS was apparently funding the SCO's patent litigation efforts against IBM and their use of Linux).

The latest theory that takes into account this promise of no immediate litigation is that Microsoft is simply trying to scare OSS-slinging businesses into rethinking their position. Perhaps Redmond can convince these companies to rejoin the red, green, blue and yellow side of the fence - or at least into OSS that is sanctioned by Microsoft and/or Novell.

It's still early on in this whole patent infringement situation Microsoft has drudged up again, but the company surely isn't hurting for cash with which to fuel their army of lawyers. Still, during a time where Microsoft's reputation is likely at an all-time low and users are switching in record numbers to free and/or fruitier pastures, pulling a stunt like suing users or even businesses that pick up copies of software they haven't yet proven is infringing on anything isn't the brightest move they could make.

[via Slashdot]

Tags: law, lawsuits, Linux, microsoft, novell, patents, SCO