Thursday, November 18, 2004

Sun plans to protect customers from infringement suits

Sun Microsystems is announcing an intellectual-property protection plan for customers as part of an effort to bolster the status and adoption of Solaris, a proprietary version of Unix that has been adversely affected by open-source Linux.


-->Details of that protection plan won't be revealed until Sun announces its licensing terms for open-source Solaris in the coming weeks. But at an event here this week to announce the Solaris 10 OS, Sun Chief Executive Scott McNealy offered an example of how patent protection could work. McNealy mentioned his company's $92 million payment to Kodak to settle a patent suit over Java that could have affected others who ship Java products.

"You should have a company that can protect you and take that $92 million bullet," McNealy said. Sun also has an arsenal of patents it can use as the basis for countersuits against computing companies, he said, adding that "most people with network-computing intellectual property probably don't want to come after us, because we might go right after them." <--


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