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[News] Red Hat on Acacia Harassment, Microsoft Still 'Thief' of Ideas

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Defending Linux.

,----[ Quote ]
| Back in 2007, IP Innovation filed a lawsuit against Red Hat and Novell. IP 
| Innovation is a subsidiary of Acacia Technologies. You may have heard of them 
| — they’re reported to be the most litigious patent troll in the USA, meaning 
| they produce nothing of value other than money from those whom they sue (or 
| threaten to sue) over patent issues. They’re alleging infringement of patents 
| on a user interface that has multiple workspaces. Hard to say just what they 
| mean (which is often a problem in software patents), but it sounds a lot like 
| functionality that pretty much all programmers and consumers use.       
| That patent was filed back on March 25, 1987 by some folks at Xerox/PARC, 
| which means that prior art dated before that date is helpful — and art dated 
| before March 25, 1986 is the most useful. (That means any examples from Linux 
| aren’t really going to help, seeing as how Linus Torvalds first began the 
| Linux kernel in 1991.    


Microsoft, the follower

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| Microsoft earlier this week celebrated its 10,000th patent. Implicit in that 
| announcement is the supposition that "patents = innovation." However, a quick 
| look at Microsoft's last five years demonstrate a company that is struggling 
| to copycat the best the industry has to offer, rather than innovate.   
| [...]
| In this way it's much like the criticism it has of open source: Microsoft 
| claims that open source steals others' intellectual property and doesn't 
| innovate. Pot calling kettle black?  



Microsoft Has A Problem: Software Patents Go Up In Smoke

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| So, companies like Microsoft would have a lot to rue about as a huge portion
| of their patent portfolio has become circumspect. This not only would rob
| them of revenues in terms of royalties but would also open up a lot of space
| for competition as well. Special thanks to Red Hat to take up the fight and
| providing crucial data to the court to take this decision. Stallman and FSF
| would be very happy today :)

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