Microsoft's Linux patent licensing: now Casio signs up
Microsoft has announced that Casio is the latest company to sign a licence for undisclosed patents for an undisclosed sum of money in a cross-licensing arrangement. The reference to Linux in the announcement of the deal is as part of a "broad, multiyear patent cross-licensing agreement that, among other things" will cover the use of "Linux in certain Casio devices".
Details of these Linux-using "certain Casio devices" are not disclosed, though Casio does use GPL/LGPL-licensed software in products such as its projectors, and does produce a number of Android-based devices such as the Casio G'zOne Commando. Microsoft has claimed that Linux infringes 235 of the company's patents but has not disclosed which ones and takes steps to avoid disclosure. Reportedly, when Microsoft approaches companies over claimed infringement of these patents, it requires that the company being approached signs an NDA before being told the details of the claims.
Although the terms are confidential, Microsoft and Casio have confirmed that Microsoft is to receive payments from Casio.