Guess which patents are not infringed in the Microsoft Visual Studio suit?

The one bright spot in WebXchange's lawsuit against Microsoft's customers is that open source is not involved.

WebXchange is suing Microsoft--or, rather, three of its customers--for allegedly infringing its patents in Microsoft Visual Studio, as CNET reports . Just desserts? Nah. Microsoft rarely sues anyone , preferring instead to threaten to sue.

Regardless, WebXchange's suit against Dell, FedEx, and Allstate for using Visual Studio is nuclear waste: by suing customers, WebXchange just made software licensing even uglier than it already was , making its own future business as difficult as it will become for Microsoft and every other vendor. Nice one, bozo. Suing customers--in this case--is always bad form and serves to hurt all players in the industry.

One bright spot in the litigation is that open source is not involved. Microsoft uses the open-source JQuery project in Visual Studio. Perhaps WebXchange forgot to throw in a claim against JQuery as part of its Visual Studio lawsuit.

Regardless, this is small comfort in a lawsuit that promises to muddy the waters for open-source and proprietary vendors alike.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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