Patent non-aggression pacts
There's a common belief that the major software patent holders have patent non-aggression pacts signed with each other. This page has been started to collect evidence to support or dispel this belief.
Known bilateral agreements
- HP and Microsoft signed one in 2002.
- Ericsson and Samsung have signed one for wireless technology in 2002.
- Microsoft and Autodesk signed one in 2004.
- Amazon and Microsoft
- Microsoft and Sun
Whether a deal exists on paper or not, the patent system creates a situation like mutually assured destruction among superpowers. For example, even if there were no agreement between IBM and Microsoft, each one knows that with vast amounts of software (=risk) and thousands of software patents each (=weapons), the result of on litigation would be an explosion of retaliation and counter-litigation.
Microsoft and Sun
Elements of this deal include:
- Both parties give a covenant not to sue for any past damages (Section II.1)
- Agreement to abstain from litigation for six months, regarding all their software (Section III.1)
- [The deal] shall not apply to Authorized Licensees of Open Office [...] Microsoft shall not be foreclosed by this Agreement from seeking damages from Authorized Licensees of Open Office (Section IV.1)
- Star Office (unlike OpenOffice.org), is not excluded from the deal (Section IV.3)
- Microsoft will pay Sun $900 million (Section VIII) plus an annual fee. In 2005, the fee was $54 million, and the total for ten years is estimated at $450 million.
Related pages on ESP Wiki
- Novell-Microsoft patent deals
- Free software distributors paying patent tax
- Defensive patent aquisition
- Patent promises
- http://perens.com/Articles/Taylor/ -"...HP signed a "non-aggression pact" with Microsoft..."