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Red Hat indemnifies users against patent claims

Red Hat has responded to a patents tie-up between rival Linux distributor Novell and Microsoft by announcing that it will now provide indemnification against intellectual property infringement claims.

Last week’s deal between Microsoft and Novell means the two firms will provide each other’s customers with patent coverage for their respective products. It will also see Microsoft officially recommend Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise platforms for users who want Windows and Linux systems.

In a Q&A on its website, Red Hat rejected the idea that it would consider a similar patent arrangement with Microsoft, describing it as “an innovation tax”.

Instead Red Hat reiterated its own “Patent Promise”, a pledge not to use its patents against users and developers of open source software, and announced its new indemnification provision, aimed at protecting users against intellectual property infringement claims.

The indemnity will be added to Red Hat’s Open Source Assurance programme, which is designed to help users developing and deploying its open source solutions avoid patent infringement problems.

Further information about the indemnity scheme would be provided “shortly” Red hat said.

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