Summary: Patents, which we have warned about since this site’s birth in 2006, continue to be a serious problem and an impediment to Free/Open Source software (FOSS)
Last week we wrote about OIN expanding to cover OpenStack. Patent aggression just seems to have become the biggest threat to FOSS. As FOSS Force put it the other day, in 2013 patents were a big issue. To quote: “As in years past, patents were big in FOSS news this year. The online retailer Newegg, which has vowed to fight all unwarranted patent claims, lost a major case just a few weeks ago and the Swedish telcom Ericsson decided to go trolling.
“The biggest patent story of the year, however, was Rockstar Consortium’s lawsuit against Google and a collection of Android handset makers. Rockstar is a patent troll jointly owned by Microsoft, Apple and three other tech companies which holds patents purchased from bankrupt Canadian telcom Nortel. The latest news is that the patents purchased by the group may not be as valuable as thought. Time will tell.”
We wrote about this troll quite a lot before. It is one among others of its kind, typically run by Apple and Microsoft behind the scenes. It’s an abuse of the system. Google, which itself patents software now, is the biggest target, especially because of Android. █