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Open Source News

Open Invention Network Expands Patent Protection 22

Thinkcloud writes "More than 700 new software packages including popular packages such as KVM, Git, OpenJDK, and WebKit will now receive royalty-free shelter under the Open Invention Network. This could make it more friction-free for organizations and developers to adopt and modify open source technology." OIN's press release has a bit more detail. They've greatly expanded their definition of the "Linux system" to cover a lot more core software with their defensive patent pool.
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Open Invention Network Expands Patent Protection

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  • by Dorkmaster Flek ( 1013045 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:15AM (#39274399)
    That's great and all, but the very existence of a "defensive patent" portfolio/company indicates to me that the system is totally broken.
    • And there is pretty much no balls behind those promises. Microsoft uses patents to attack features in Linux kernel, yet these guys are yet to release even a simple press release.
      • by Alioth ( 221270 )

        Have they? I know Ballmer has blustered about vague claims, but to my knowledge, Microsoft has never actually launched a direct patent attack against the Linux kernel.

        • Because there's no money there... but they will attack anything that uses the kernel: Android, Nook, TomTom

        • Recall that SCO launched a direct attack, and MS backed them. SCO demanded a $699 license fee from every Linux user, alleging that there was patented technology in the Linux kernel. It was highly improper of SCO to hit up users, but MS did not discourage SCO from trying that, far from it. If there were any merits to their claims, SCO should have pursued developers and perhaps distributors, not end users. To use a car analogy, what SCO tried was like demanding payment from everyone who ever drove a Ford

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            In a just world, SCO would be forced to refund all of those $699 licenses with interest before paying any other bill including legal fees and executive salary. After all, they licensed something they didn't even own.

            Of course, in a just world, the rotting zombie corpse of SCO wouldn't still be lumbering around rattling legal sabres.

    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:18AM (#39274427) Homepage Journal

      Is there anyone who doesn't know The System Is A Fraud? And yet, it seems foolish to ignore it. There's nothing hypocritical about maintaining a defensive patent portfolio and working to abolish software patents simultaneously. Now, if you were to launch a preemptive attack from that portfolio, that would be hypocritical...

      • Oh I'm not saying they shouldn't be doing this, given how the current system works. It's totally prudent on their part.
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:33AM (#39274555)

      Don't worry, the politicians will fix it just as soon as they take care of more important issues like obscure contraception rules, symbolic budget showdowns, school prayer, etc.

    • "system is totally broken"

      This phrase has lost all meaning on me. Humans break all things, including systems. They misuse them, abuse them. Every minor exception neglected by creators of the system, becomes a major use, because humans use the systems this way.

      Every system has its own purpose different (or narrowing down) from main human instinct - grab stuff lying around.

  • by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:36AM (#39274591) Homepage Journal

    GNU patent: every patent that is based on that patent (built on top of that patent, would be impossible without that patent) should be also a GNU patent.

    • Except that the system is rigged to make this impossible: patent fees are damn expensive, to make sure everyone defects in what is essentially prisoner's dilemma.

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur