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10.17.07

Patent State is the State[s] of the Bully

Posted in Google, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, OIN, Oracle, Patents, Red Hat at 3:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s an insane state in the States

Don Parris has written a nice short piece that equates the status quo to the rule of the thug — that which is least ethical and most ruthless.

For some time now, Microsoft has been accusing the FOSS community of violating its patents. FOSS journalists have been calling their bluff for about as long. And now the patent armageddon game is on. And we could have prevented this all along.

The game may be on, but steps have already been taken to prevent deterioration. Mr. Morgan at OpenAddict has correctly pointed out that the Open Inventions Network is of use here.

Luckily, we have a heavy hitter on our side, as well. A coalition of companies, led by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony, have created the Open Invention Network in order to provide Linux companies legal protection against these types of lawsuits.

Let’s not forget companies like Oracle and Google as well.

“Could this be a convenient loophole that makes patent trolls and proxies a very appealing attack vector in this broken state of patent (out)laws?”I am left wondering however; how you could cross-license or counter-sue a company that is only a patent portfolio, i.e. a company that produces nothing and therefore does not step on any patent ‘land mines’? Could this be a convenient loophole that makes patent trolls and proxies a very appealing attack vector in this broken state of patent (out)laws?

Speaking of proxies, despite the evidence that can be equated to a ‘smoking gun’ (it’s sufficiently compelling for some to believe), Microsoft’s and Acacia’s denial continues as more information continues to flood in. Matt Aslett assembles some of this information in his new blogging nest (The 451 Group).

Stephen Walli recently noted that the targets seemed strange when you consider the comparative size of Red Hat and Novell’s Linux business. “Why not Microsoft? (Acacia went after Apple who settled. Microsoft would seem to have deeper pockets than Red Hat or Novell. It would seem to be the more interesting business discussion.),” he stated.

Perhaps going after smaller vendors with shallower pockets is the better bet if you are litigating against the clock, although it does seem an odd decision not to go for the mother lode. Either way, one suspects that if Acacia was hoping for a quick settlement it is likely to be disappointed.

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