Things are heating up between Microsoft and many Linux vendors, as MS continues to claim Linux violates numerous patents they own. While some companies, such as Linspire, Xandros, Novell and others are willing to get in bed with MS, many stand firm that they will do no such thing. One of those companies is Red Hat, who has asserted more than once that they will not sign any deals with Microsoft.

They recently have decided to re-assure their current and potential future customers that they do not fear Microsoft, and will not tolerate “patent intimidation”. This is mostly in response to a comment made by Steve Ballmer last week, in which he claimed people using Red Hat would one day “eventually” be required to compensate Microsoft. That's a threat if there ever was one, but Red Hat sees it as an idle one:

In a scathing response to Ballmer's remarks, Red Hat's IP team said the reality is that the community development approach of free and open-source code represents a healthy development paradigm, which, when viewed from the perspective of pending lawsuits related to intellectual property, is at least as safe as proprietary software.
This is on top of Red Hat's promise to “replace” software if there was ever an issue with intellectual property. We've yet to see Microsoft make good on their promise to sue Linux into oblivion, but I hope that if they ever do try to make good on their claims of patent violation that companies like Red Hat continue to stand firm.