Anonymous Crowhead asks: "I'm posting this anonymously for reasons that will soon be obvious. We're a fairly new startup company who specialize in products, and we have a policy of making all our software Open Source. A while ago, we received an notice from a company claiming that we were violating some of their patents, and that they had found this out by looking at our code. They gave us one of the two options - either make the product closed source and sign up for a percentage of the profits with them, or provide them with a stake in our company. Our legal advisors felt that it might be wise for us to settle, but we decided to press them further for details of the infringement and refused to yield. We haven't heard from them since - so either we called their bluff, or they've gone to come back with more legal firepower. No matter what, we feel that this is a scary precedent. Have any other entrepreneurs around here experienced anything similar? Is this one of the after-effects of the SCO episode - to go after unwitting small startups who cannot fight back? Personally, this was a nightmare for our company, and we are not aware of any patents that we may be violating."
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