Friday, October 12, 2007

Patent Infringement Law suit againt Linux (Is RedHat and Novell Linux?)

Well, it was bound to happen: Linux vendors Red Hat and Novell have been sued for patent infringement. Groklaw is reporting that on Tuesday, the two companies were sued by IP Innovation LLC and Technology Licensing Corp. for violating three patents having to do with windowing user interfaces.

The lawsuit represents the first test of what happens when open source collides with patents, and it's interesting for a couple reasons. First, notice that all the other Linux vendors are missing from the defendants list, most notably IBM. That could be because IBM has already licensed the patents in a different context. (In June, Apple settled a patent infringement lawsuit with the same plaintiffs over at least one of the patents involved here.)

Stollen from Frank Hayes Blog

1 comment:

Tel said...

Suppose RedHat lose and some chunk of GPL code gets poisoned by known patent infringement. Suddenly no one is entitled to distribute that chunk of GPL code. No one at all, not IBM, no matter what licenses they have in place.

Freedom or death... if you can't distribute such that everyone gets the same rights that you have, then you can't distribute AT ALL.

Thus, IBM (and every other Linux vendor) must join in the party and ensure that RedHat wins. Neat huh?