Home > News > Patent Lawsuit Could Kill Open Source • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Patent Lawsuit Could Kill Open Source

Patent Lawsuit Could Kill Open Source
Get XBIZ News
Jun 30, 2006 9:59 AM PDT    Text size: 
HOUSTON — Users of open source code may no longer be immune from patent infringement cases if a suit filed by Delaware-based FireStar Software against Raleigh, N.C.-based Linux distributor Red Hat goes the way many patent experts think it might.

While the suit itself centers around a dispute over a 2000 FireStar patent for interfacing object-oriented software applications and related databases, the case could bring into play the larger issue the viability of open source as a method for software development.

Writing for Technocrat.net, Bruce Perens, an open source advocate, called the Red Hat/FireStar suit the tip of the iceberg.

Perens predicted that should FireStar prevail in its suit, or should Red Hat see fit to settle, open source use of what he called the “object-relational paradigm” might become impossible. Perens went on to say that this opening salvo in the open source war could put open source itself on the chopping block.

“We should not be confident that we will continue to have the right to use and develop open source software,” Perens said. “A coordinated patent attack by a few companies, or even one large company, could completely destroy open source in the U.S. and cripple it in other nations.”

Arguing that the twin protections of patent and copyright for software had been a bad idea, Perens called for legislative protections for open source in light of what he sees as the specter of looming litigation from firms like Intellectual Ventures.

“Founded by ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold and touted as a means to ‘encourage innovation’, it appears to be a litigation factory in the making,” Perens said. “Intellectual Ventures has been purchasing patents to construct a portfolio that it will then assert against someone, probably small and medium-sized businesses to start with.”

A report on technology site InfoQ.com suggested that the venue for the case, the Eastern District of Texas, is notorious among patent lawyers for favoring patent holders.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

LEGAL PERSPECTIVES

Visa Cracks Down on ‘Shell’ Billing Firms

There was a time not so long ago when website operators created billing companies in favorable jurisdictions, whose sole purpose was to bill customers for services provided by the operator and remit the... More »

Randazza: Trump Victory, Big Prop 60 Win

On Tuesday afternoon, I boarded a transatlantic flight. Given all of the negativity in the 2016 presidential race, I was delighted that I would be absent for the results. I found both Donald Trump and... More »

Dissecting an $11.9M Affiliate Marketing Judgment

The Federal Trade Commission scored another major win in early October when the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling, requiring LeadClick Media LLC to pay an $11.9 million award. The... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Everything To Do With Sex Show

Jan 27 - Jan 29
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The European Summit

Mar 04 - Mar 07
Barcelona-Sitges, Spain

The TEA Show

Mar 05 - Mar 06
Hollywood, CA

Phoenix Forum 2017

Mar 23 - Mar 26
Tempe, Arizona
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!