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Novell Collects Software Patents While Apple Attacks Linux with Patents

2 companies wrongly perceived as friends of FOSS

Novell's quest for software patents continues. That's just how Novell markets itself. It uses software patents as a distinguisher/differentiator, which leads to resentment in the Free software community. Here is Novell's latest addition:

Method and apparatus for maintaining peripheral device support information , patent No. 7,480,745, invented by Bart Dahneke, of Provo; Ted Wayne Tronson, of Provo; Michael John Cowley, of Provo; and Victor Hugo Parra, of Lindon; assigned to Novell Inc., of Provo.


Novell is not the only company that's strongly (and wrongly) credited for contributions to Free software despite its obvious attacks on the spirit and foundations of Free software. There is also Apple, which is hostile towards GNU/Linux [1, 2].

If Apple and Novell share a common pain at the moment, it is that both companies are currently under fire from this one patent troll.

Apple among PC makers sued over OS permissions tech



The latest suit arrives on the heels of a complaint lodged earlier this month by IPAT and GITH that made similar accusations against a group of software makers regarding the same patents. Named in that suit were Microsoft, Symantec, F-Secure, Novell, AVG Technologies and PC Tools.


But is Apple just using patents defensively? Not by a long shot. To make matters worse, Apple claims the inventions of others.

Speaking of Apple, which is among those sued in the above case, it appears to be threatening to sue Linux-based products.

Apple Hints at Legal Action Against Palm



Remember when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, and held it up in the air, proudly proclaiming "Boy, have we patented it", followed by a massive applause of the adoring audience? It may seem like this wasn't just an empty claim, either. During the earnings conference call yesterday, the company hinted at possible legal action against Palm were the Pre to infringe on iPhone patents.


How charming. First Apple exploits Free software (BSD) and now it's just attacking competition that uses Free software, using the very antithesis of Free software.

“Software patents are a huge potential threat to the ability of people to work together on open source. Making it easier for companies and communities that have patents to make those patents available in a common pool for people to use is one way to try to help developers deal with the threat.”

--Linus Torvalds



Apple Mac G5
Intellectual monopolies inside

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