Article:
  Linux and Patent Risks
Subject:   No guarantee of indemnification with proprietary software, either
Date:   2004-08-10 18:50:08
From:   Paul_Robinson
As Ravicher explained, the cost of proprietary software includes some amount of patent insurance. The vendor of the software takes on the risk of defending its users against patent claims made by other parties.
Don't you believe it. Here's a quote from almost any of Microsoft's EULAs (End User License Agreements):
NO WARRANTIES. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, MICROSOFT AND ITS SUPPLIERS DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT, WITH REGARD TO THE SOFTWARE PRODUCT

So Microsoft will not even warrant that the code it has sold you is non-infringing. If some code by Microsoft infringes some patent, MS can tell you that you're on your own and you'll probably have no recourse against them.
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