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Red Hat CEO says he talked patents with Microsoft

Red Hat Inc. Chief Executive Matthew Szulik said his company last year held talks with Microsoft Corp over a patent agreement that broke down before the software giant signed a deal with Red Hat rival Novell Inc.

The developer of Linux software, has yet to sign such a deal which could see Novell, its biggest rival, woo customers away from Red Hat and work on product development and sales with the world's No.1 software maker.

In an interview with Reuters, Szulik declined to say whether his company is now in negotiations with Microsoft over signing such a patent agreement.

"I can't answer the question," he said.

Officials with Microsoft couldn't be reached for comment.

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