05.05.08

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Novell In Damnification [sic]

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu at 3:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As we discover time and time again, Novell sells snake oil not only in countries where software patents are invalid and Microsoft’s claims remain totally unsubstantiated, but also in countries where none of this has any legitimacy. Novell helps Microsoft spread misconceptions and uses these to market itself. It makes it a direct opponent of Free software.

“Novell helps Microsoft spread misconceptions and uses these to market itself.”As Matt Asay repeatedly stresses, consumers did not require Novell’s imaginary ‘protection’, not even if they chose SUSE. It was all just a sales tactic to Novell: create fear out of nothing and then use it to market SUE Linux [sic] while mocking the rest (the competition), along with Microsoft. It’s an appalling strategy.

Jason Brooks has just published an article about this issue of indemnification and he concludes by saying that it is hardly necessary.

Considering that open-source software and processes are serving an increasingly prominent role in the IT industry landscape, and that actual lawsuits against open-source end users haven’t been materializing, I don’t think that companies or individuals running open source without service-fee-based indemnification are in any particular danger.

Maybe I’m wrong–if I get served for running Linux without an annual service contract, I’ll be sure to write about it.

While on this particular subject, it’s worth adding that irregularities are being spotted in the USPTO. As expected, it’s likely to be controlled by various peripheral interests, just like other government-tied establishments such as the DOJ, FTC, FCC and others.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may have a major problem on its hands — the possibly unconstitutional appointment of nearly two-thirds of its patent appeals judges.

Such a constitutional flaw, if legitimate, could call into question the hundreds of decisions worth billions of dollars in the past eight years. The flaw, discovered by highly regarded intellectual property scholar John Duffy of George Washington University Law School, could also afflict the appointment of nearly half of the agency’s trademark appeals judges.

A petition raising the issue has just been filed in the U.S. Supreme Court by a company whose patent was rejected by a three-judge Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences panel. That panel decision was subsequently affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which set aside an $86.5 million infringement verdict won by the company.

This problem is not unique to or affecting only technology. In absence of proper regulation, it’s only to be expected.

“Fat operating systems spend most of their energy supporting their own fat.”

Nicholas Negroponte, MIT Media Lab, rediff.com, Apr 2006

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