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Microsoft Inks Linux Patent Deal With I-O

Microsoft hasn't always has the most amicable relationship with the Linux community, to put it mildly. The software giant has at times invoked stern rhetoric regarding what it views as infringement on its intellectual property, and hasn't shied away from lawsuits to enforce its patents.

But it's also struck some noteworthy licensing agreements, including the latest deal that sees Microsoft license certain IP related to Linux to I-O Data Device, a Japanese hardware firm. Linux Planet has the details.

Just a week and a half after signing a patent licensing deal with Amazon covering the e-tailer's use of Linux, Microsoft announced it has inked another Linux patent licensing agreement, this time with a Japanese hardware company.

Neither Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) nor the Japanese company, I-O Data Device, revealed details of the agreement. However, in a short joint statement, the two said the deal "will provide I-O Data's customers with patent coverage for their use of I-O Data's products running Linux and other related open source software."

The agreements with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and I-O Data Device mark the latest development in the contentious relationship between Microsoft and the open source Linux community. In May 2007, Microsoft executives claimed that Linux infringed 235 of its patents, which outraged many open source supporters.

Though the rhetoric has since died down, Microsoft hasn't relented in targeting Linux's users on the basis of its patent claims.

Read the full story at Linux Planet:
Microsoft and I-O Data Sign Linux Patent Deal