The Microsoft vs TomTom spat has taken a twist that I doubt Microsoft expected. I am sure Microsoft assumed TomTom would buckle under the pressure of a costly legal battle and pay the patent protection fees Microsoft tried to extract from them Earlier in the year. This has not happened.
TomTom first counter was to fire some Patents it holds on in car systems that it believe catch Microsoft. The HUGE gun they pulled out after that is a real game changer. TomTom joined the Open Invention Network.
Microsoft has being trying to claim the TomTom action has nothing to do with Linux to avoid pulling in OIN. This is a simple lie though as TomTom use the standard Linux + DOS libraries in their SatNav.
For TomTom the cost of joining the OIN is making their patents available to the FLOSS community for free. The benefits they gain are use of the full OIN patent war cache in defence and muscle that backs it.
OIN member including the likes of IBM, Sony, Philips, RedHat, NEC and ironically Novell.
This case has now grown far beyond the David vs Goliath fight around the edge of the Linux community into a centre stage standoff of Patent super powers.
The ball is now with Microsoft.
Can they risk a fight with the OIN. I doubt it but who knows in the current climate. Time to sit back and watch the fireworks