Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell Part of the Software Patents Problem, Not Its Solution

Mono Microsoft brain



About a year ago, Novell joined forced with the EFF. It needed to give the impression that it was just as concerned as many of us about patents. But meanwhile, Novell advocates the very same thing it purports to be fighting.

Novell initiatives



[...]

They are presented with opportunities for patents and papers and to participate in Standards Bodies with an exposure to a worldwide platform. They closely work with the corporate L&D function to provide management development programs for the managers.

[...]

Patent program—They have been aggressively building up their patent portfolio. Currently it exceeds 320 patents, and continues to grow every month with help from dedicated Novell inventors. Novell IDC alone has contributed close to 14 patents to this existing patent pool.


Bravo, Novell. Everyone is very impressed. Not.

Meanwhile, what have we in the news? Another company attacks its rivals using patents of course.

Seagate Technology, the largest maker of computer hard drives, made a pre-emptive strike against an emerging competitor on Monday when it filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing STEC Inc. of patent infringement.


Also from news, watch how 4G technology is already being arranged in a discriminatory way -- discriminatory in the sense that Free software players seem to be excluded.

The companies involved - Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NEC, NextWave Wireless, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Sony Ericsson - have all agreed to a framework based around fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing, which should prevent the kind of ongoing patent spats which dogged 3G technologies.


What would be the terms of use to those who haven't things to 'license'? Must everyone put development on the ice and organise piles of papers in order to merely participate in communication? Recall OpenMoko's dilemma. Since when are protocols requiring software patents and has nobody learned from past miseries?

The notion of patents becoming an inherent or essential part of a standard is something to learn from at least based on precedence. The same type of principles apply to a variety of things including Microsoft's taxoperability program and OOXML, which is, whether we accept it or not, a patent trap, among many other things.

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