Adam Jackson ajax at
Tue Jul 7 14:39:48 UTC 2009

On Tue, 2009-07-07 at 16:06 +0200, Julian Aloofi wrote:

> Unfortunately the patent promise covers more things than just C# / CLI patents.
> And it seems like you're going to lose the whole promise when you just
> sue them over one specification in there, e.g. the XPS specification.
> Maybe that's less of a problem for Red Hat because they don't like
> patents anyway and are not likely holding any XPS related patents, but
> it could be a problem for the OIN.

The relevant sentence to the above argument is:

"If you file, maintain, or voluntarily participate in a patent
infringement lawsuit against a Microsoft implementation of any Covered
Specification, then this personal promise does not apply with respect to
any Covered Implementation made or used by you."

This may be ambiguously worded.  "any Covered Implementation" might mean
the one(s) corresponding to the Covered Specification you're bringing
suit against, or it might mean any Covered Implementation of yours at

The FAQ on the same page seems to indicate that the "corresponding"
interpretation is intended:

"As stated in the CP, the only time Microsoft can withdraw its promise
against a specific person or company for a specific Covered
Specification is if that person or company brings (or voluntarily
participates in) a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft
regarding Microsoft's implementation of the _same_ [emphasis mine]
Covered Specification. This type of "suspension" clause is common
industry practice."

But I'd definitely ask a lawyer for the real answer, and probably ask
Microsoft to clarify the language if I were to rely on it.

- ajax
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