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Canonical Group

Canonical Group Ltd. is the company that supports the Ubuntu distribution of GNU/Linux (a free software operating system).

Lobbying against software patents

For EPO EBA referral G3-08, Canonical submitted a letter to the European Patent Office, arguing against the granting of software patents.


About Microsoft's patent deals

Commenting on deals such as the Novell-Microsoft patent deals, Canonical's then-CEO Mark Shuttleworth said in 2007:

Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering."[1]

Shuttleworth, speaking in his personal capacity, rejected the possibility of Canonical signing such a deal:

For the record, let me state my position, and I think this is also roughly the position of Canonical and the Ubuntu Community Council though I haven’t caucused with the CC on this specifically.

We have declined to discuss any agreement with Microsoft under the threat of unspecified patent infringements.

Allegations of “infringement of unspecified patents” carry no weight whatsoever. We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together. A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for."[2]

Licensing H.264

In 2010, Canonical entered a commercial agreement with MPEG LA over patents on MPEG video formats.[3][4][5][6] Canonical is the first distributor of GNU/Linux to do so.

Other related info

Canonical became the first Associate Member of the Open Invention Network[7] in June 2010. (Can you help? What's the difference between an Associate Member and a Licensee?)

External links