“Be careful what you ask for…”
The Free software world is very fortunate. It is resistant to hostile takeovers thanks to choice and diversity, which remain a necessity despite some detrimental side-effects. We discussed the Nokia-Trolltech status quo very recently and, depending on how you look at this, it usually looks negative [1, 2, 3]. If there is anything positive about this, it is the news that Nokia, a lobbyist for software patents, is now chewing its own poison.
Twelve billion euros claimed from Nokia for use of patents
IPcom, an exploiter of patents based in Pullach, near Munich, is demanding 12 billion euros from the Finnish group Nokia for use of mobile telephony patents, reports Handelsblatt. IPCom is said to have lodged a complaint with the Land Court in Mannheim in early January, aimed at prohibiting Nokia’s use of eight patent families. That would mean a ban on sales in a large number of countries, though what particular patents are involved is not yet clear.
The hope here is that Nokia will learn its lessons and appreciate some economic problems with those patents which it craves for. The last thing one needs is to see Qt coming under software patent assaults. Apple, Microsoft, Xerox and shell companies that buy patents from them have gotten many GUI-related patents in the United States. Remember Acacia and virtual desktops? █