Patent Wars 2.0

In 1.0 we had Unisys and SCO. In 2.0 it looks like it will be Microsoft:

He says that the Linux kernel – the deepest layer of the free operating system, which interacts most directly with the computer hardware – violates 42 Microsoft patents. The Linux graphical user interfaces – essentially, the way design elements like menus and toolbars are set up – run afoul of another 65, he claims. The Open Office suite of programs, which is analogous to Microsoft Office, infringes 45 more. E-mail programs infringe 15, while other assorted FOSS programs allegedly transgress 68.

Emphasis is mine.

Email programs? Thunderbird? Evolution? Chandler? Kontact? Mutt? Pine? The fact that it’s plural says quite a bit. Is it the concept Email itself (RFC 822)? SMTP (RFC 821)? An address book (no RFC, but there’s got to be prior art here)?

I can’t think of too many things that are shared across “Email programs”.

This will be very interesting.