05.21.07

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The IT World Returns to Business as Usual (Web Reactions)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are many new signs which indicate that fear of IP infringement simply does not prevail. Free software is still seen as safe and its appeal has possibly been increased by Microsoft’s subtle and implicit admission of fear. Consider, for example, the following survey:

…none of the half-dozen IT executives who were interviewed about Microsoft’s infringement assertions plan to change their open-source adoption strategies — at least, not unless and until there’s a good reason for them to do so.

Here is some more analysis from InfoWorld.

OSBC arrives, Month of Enterprise Startups continues, and open source IP threats are put to rest

[...]

Assuming that whets your appetite for more on the topic, I suggest you dig into Neil McAllister’s “How risky is open source?” — a look at the legally fraught issue of intellectual property in open source. Among other findings, Neil points out that the threat of lawsuits is vastly overstated, because so many vendors are locked into a “mutually assured destruction” detente over patents.

Here is the detailed article, which explains that IP — whether it’s valid or not — goes both ways.

Often overstated, intellectual property threats apply to both proprietary and open source code

Gartner agrees with the assessment that fear is unfounded.

Organizations that use free software such as Linux shouldn’t “panic or be concerned about paying Microsoft licensing fees,” the analysts write in their assessment.

Let’s not forget the KSR v. Teleflex case, which pretty much tested futile patents in court.

According to this view, simply combining these elements does not constitute an obvious extension of existing designs. As such, it provides expansive opportunities for designers to build upon the prior art and yet receive patent protection for their work.

A couple of other short articles point the finger at the real problem. Linux has become too great a threat.

“It’s one of the few operating systems that represents a viable threat that Microsoft has a great deal of difficulty containing,” Gillen said. Because open-source developers share their code, the challenge to Microsoft’s products isn’t limited to one company.

The impact of the recent actions still had an unwanted effect.

This week Microsoft provided me with yet another reason to hate them….

[...]

I’m one former MS customer who will not be going back to MS any time soon. This legal action only makes me more determined never to give MS a cent of my hard earned cash. MS need to listen to people like me. I’m fed up with their cr*p and threatening me with legal action is not going to endear them to me! They need to put their lawyers back into their box and start producing better software!

At the end of the day, the past week’s event reveal a winner. That winner is not proprietary software. We are hoping to return to focus on Novell, having (hopefully) dispelled and invalidated some the of noise. Novell did, by all means, play a role, albeit a passive one.

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A Single Comment

  1. gpl1 said,

    May 21, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    Gravatar

    European Commission on Microsoft’s networking patents:

    “no significant innovation”

    hmmmmm

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