Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted
I don't suppose it requires a conspiracy theorist to see Microsoft as spinning off a subsidiary to spread legal FUD against competitors. Of course you might think the patent has some merit. Ars Technica has a rather nice summary the last time the patent was used in a lawsuit
The language of the patent is interminably vague and could apply to any one of a dozen different user interface elements that are found in all modern operating systems, but seems to be most closely related to the idea of "tabbed" dialog boxes, like the ones seen in both Windows and Mac OS X. Ironically, the company to first release a modern-looking tabbed dialog box was none other than Microsoft with early versions of Office, although Apple had a Control Panel with similar functionality as early as Mac OS System 4.2, circa 1987. It remains to be seen whether or not IP Innovations will go after Microsoft and other system vendors after they are finished with Apple.
The dead hand of Xerox reaches out from the grave...