Summary: Another secret settlement is reported by Acacia subsidiary and the anti-Linux patent is now expressed as simple mathematics (that one is not allowed to practice in the United States)
This press release seems a bit familiar (see 2010 settlement [1, 2, 3, 4] and prior ones), but its date was the same as the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, so it was lost in the noise. It says:
Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq:ACTG) announced today that its Site Update Solutions, LLC subsidiary has entered into a confidential settlement agreement with Red Hat, Inc. The agreement resolves patent litigation that was pending between the parties in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Civil Action No: 2:10-cv-00151-DF, related to U.S. Patent No. RE40,683.
Site Update Solutions, LLC?
For those who do not remember Microsoft’s links to Acacia, see this wiki page. Bedrock too recently extorted Red Hat (at Google’s datacentres) and the person responsible for it had been paid by Microsoft beforehand (Microsoft was a client). Regarding Google’s patent case, here is the the patent in question reduced to mathematical formulae. The author says:
Google has just been ordered to pay $5M for infringing patent 5,893,120 (hereafter “Patent 120″). This patent covers a very simple data structure and the algorithms for manipulating it. In fact much of the text of the patent is a pseudo-code implementation in a Pascal-like language. So I thought I would provide a practical demonstration of what has, until now, been a theoretical proposition; the reduction of a software patent to set of mathematical formulae. The result is below, and is also posted here (although I believe that the paste-bin will eventually expire).
I chose this patent partly because it is comparatively simple (there are 95 lines of Haskell source code in the file), but also because it is potentially important; Google’s “infringement” consisted of using Linux, which uses this algorithm. Hence anyone using Linux is a potential target.
We need to eliminate software patents. Exposing those who incentivise anti-Linux lawsuits may not be enough and there might be no law against that, either. █