Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 15:12 UTC
Legal This week's 'big' news on OSNews was about software patents. You know, those things that say you cannot stack four pixels on top of one another unless you pay money to the guy who invented four-pixel-stacks (or the guy who bought the guy who invented four-pixel-stacks). A company called IP Innovation, LLC, has sued Novell and Red Hat for infringement of the company's IP portfolio. Software patents are of course generally completely ridiculous, so I will not focus on that here. I want to focus on something else.
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Remaining questions
by AndrewW on Sun 14th Oct 2007 19:27 UTC
AndrewW
Member since:
2006-09-13

Based on the current evidence, I'm not sure I believe that Microsoft is behind this, so here's a few comments/questions I'm left with; more about the situation than the article itself:

- Innocent until proven guilty isn't a business law ;) If Novell/RedHat/whoever collectively decide that Microsoft is to blame, they are absolutely free "retaliate" against Microsoft directly.

- An IP company funded completely on its own operations (read: not an MS pawn) will probably only go after big companies that will be able to pay for all those lawyers that work for the company. If either of the following are false, they are likely to be getting some other "incentive" to enforce their patents...
. The company is just as likely to go after Microsoft for patents in the future.
. Smaller/free Linux distros are unlikely to be affected because they aren't worth the time.

My guess is that either the patent will be invalidated or RedHat/Novell will pay a sum similar to Apple (possible less since Linux desktop uptake isn't as high) and the open source world will work around the patent.

Really though, screw patents - I'm tired of hearing about crap like this. They're not supposed to be a business model, they're supposed to increase innovation. Now it's time for me to go read more about what the patent actually IS ;)

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