Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patent Trolls and Parasites


Paul Allen, photo by msprague



Summary: GPL violators, Microsoft veterans, patent trolls and parasites sometimes have intersections and parallels

THE focus we have on the patent question makes a lot of sense given that Linux spreads quickly through Android and FOSS is embedded in almost everything. Hosting for FOSS, e.g. Github, is threatened by software patents and distribution of Android is banned or made expensive using patents as well. Some of the offending parties are patent trolls with Microsoft connections (see this update) and Twin Peaks seems to be a GPL violator, not just a patent aggressor.



"If software patents got annulled in the US, many patent trolls would be out of business."Mark Webbink, formerly of Red Hat, writes about both. He writes about his former employer:"When we were little we were taught to always look both ways before crossing the street. The same lesson should be learned by companies that make software but choose to assert their patent(s) against others. Any time you make a claim of patent infringement and you are a producer you face the possibility of counterclaims unrelated to your patents, and those claims are not limited to patent infringement claims. This is a lesson now being learned by Twin Peaks Software in what may be the most important GPL enforcement action to date. Twin Peaks, having sued Red Hat and Red Hat subsidiary Gluster for patent infringement, now faces a counterclaim for copyright infringement for including critical GPL code in its products while failing to comply with the GPL. If Red Hat is successful on that claim and obtains a permanent injunction, which it is requesting, Twin Peaks could be out of business."

If software patents got annulled in the US, many patent trolls would be out of business. Later today we'll deal a little further with the patent conundrum.

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