I was reading an article about MS alleging that Linux violates some 283 patents, seemingly based on some 2004 survey conducted for an insurance-like co that sells legal protection against Linux copyright-infringement claims! Whether Linux actually violates (if so, OSDL is willing to *remedy* matters) any patent is immaterial to me, since the crux of the matter is as quoted below: (hehehe, emphasis mine)
#An artifact of current patent law in the United States is that companies and individuals are discouraged from seeing if their products infringe, Ravicher (FSF representative) said.
"If you have knowledge and are found to infringe, a court can punish you," tripling financial penalties, Ravicher said. "If you say you didn't know and didn't see it, a court can't punish you. It's a screwed-up rule."