ZDNet Australia are reporting that a Sun executive James Eagleton has accused Microsoft of 'patent terrorism' over their recent deals with, among other companies, Linspire, Novell and Xandros.
"What we're seeing though now can be loosely described as patent terrorism, where people are using their patent horde as a threat," said James Eagleton, systems product manager for Sun Microsystems. "It's almost like a cold war stand over tactic; where I have these patents and if you breach these patents, I'm going to come after you and sue you."
"That's totally, from Sun's point of view, going against the spirit of innovation around software. No one, certainly in the OS development community, wants to have these doubts lingering over them, especially users," he says. "No one [wants a situation] where you have to think, if I go and use this open source software, who knows who's going to come after me for damages and claims."
Sun are a strong proponent of the open source model and have contributed significant amounts of code to the community and have opened up a lot of their existing products as well.
It's nice to see Sun feel able to make a stand on this issue and are putting their weight behind the general consensus of the community.