Drafting and using open licenses for data and hardware presents both familiar old challenges (like license proliferation) and new challenges (like less developed legal frameworks and different production models). About thirty people working in these areas recently gathered (under the umbrella of... Read more
Patent trolling—the aggressive assertion of weak or meritless patent claims by non-practicing entities—is a frequent target of disdain from open source enthusiasts. Thus it may be of some comfort to readers that the highest court in the US has recently decided the issue is worth looking into. Three... Read more
You’ve probably realized this by now, but the Supreme Court is having a very busy term when it comes to patent cases. In Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc.—scheduled for oral argument on April 28—the Court will consider whether to hold vague patents to a more exacting standard.
The Free Software Foundation will be providing a half-day legal seminar titled "GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics", taking place on Monday, March 24 at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Anyone can register to attend the seminar, though it is aimed particularly at practicing lawyers and law... Read more
Software patent thickets are often compared to minefields, but with a note of resignation, as though there’s no avoiding them. The U.S. Supreme Court now has before it a case that could go a long way towards addressing the litigation risks and business uncertainties created by software patents. The... Read more
The year 2013 continued the trend of the increasing importance of legal issues for the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community. FOSS projects have increased from 900,000 in 2012 to 1,000,000 in 2013, according to Black Duck Software. Last year, I provided a look at the top legal issues from... Read more
A recent post on the top events ahead in 2014 for reforming abusive patent litigation focused on efforts by State Attorneys General, the Federal Trade Commission, and US Congress. Let’s now take a look to another field involved in the multi-prong strategy to address patent abuse: the Supreme Court... Read more
I was looking at a source file for the OpenStack Ceilometer docs one day and noticed that there's a copyright statement at the top. Now, in no way do I want to pick on Nicholas. There are hundreds of such copyright statements in the OpenStack docs and code, and this is just the example I happened... Read more
The open source license you choose for your project, or for the projects you choose to contribute to, can have significant effects on how what you contribute is used. One question that has garnered quite a bit of interest recently is the fall in popularity of copyleft licenses in favor of... Read more
It’s a new year and all indications are that it will be a busy one for reform of abusive patent litigation. What are some of the top events ahead in 2014?