Microsoft rarely sues anyone, but gets sued plenty. It's interesting, therefore, that when Microsoft recently took legal action against an alleged patent violator, the subject is hardware, not software, and relates to its mouse technology, of all things, and not something more significant like, say, its Windows cash cow.
As noted elsewhere on CNET, Microsoft filed a complaint [PDF] with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Taiwanese hardware maker, Primax, over allegations that Primax violated seven Microsoft patents related to two technologies - TiltWheel and U2 - used in computer mice.
In a sign of how Microsoft acts when it really feels its patents are being violated, Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez, a Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel for intellectual property and licensing, indicated that Microsoft approached Primax multiple times over two years to try to resolve the issue. In other words, the company was quite reasonable and consistent in its approach.
Now compare this to how Microsoft engaged the Linux community over the alleged violation of no less than 235 of its patents back in 2007. No quiet discussions with the alleged violators (No, the Novell patent deal doesn't count, as Novell never even remotely suggested it had violated any of Microsoft's patents). Just a big Fortune interview, a few grenades launched, and then absolutely nothing beyond continued bursts of FUD.… Read more