law

US government accelerating development and release of open source

open source software is commericial

I had a chance to catch up with David A. Wheeler, a long-time leader in advising and working with the US government on issues related to open source software. As early as the late 1990s, David was demonstrating why open source software was integral to the US goverment IT architecture, and his personal webpage is a frequently cited source on open standards, open source software, and computer security.

In this interview, we explore the current state of use of open source software by the US government, the challenges of the Federal acquisition system, and what he's excited about as he looks ahead for open source and government. » Read more

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Technology companies ask Supreme Court to reject vague patents

will invalidating patents get easier?

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. » Read more

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US Supreme Court to hear important patent cases in 2014

public policy

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, which is considering a number of important cases. » Read more

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Italy is latest to promote open source software in public procurements

open source software in government

In December, the Italian government issued final rules implementing a change to procurement law that now requires all public administrations in the country to first consider re-used or free software before committing to proprietary licenses. Importantly, the new rules include an enforcement mechanism, which can, at least in theory, annul decisions that do not follow these procedures. » Read more

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Top events ahead in 2014 for abusive patent litigation

reform of abusive patent litigation

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? » Read more

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Year-in-Review: Law hot topics on Opensource.com

Top 10 open law posts in 2013

The most-read posts this year on the Opensource.com Law channel showed a strong interest in diverse legal issues in the open source world. Many readers were reaching out for a better understanding open source licensing and related questions, such as: » Read more

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The Federal Trade Commission sets its sights on Patent Aggression Entities

patent reform

Just before the shutdown of the Federal Government last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took a first and important step to examine critical questions surrounding Patent Aggression Entities (PAEs): » Read more

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Open source under the lens of an intellectual property lawyer

open source and intellectual property
All Things Open eBook

Download the free All Things Open interview series eBook

Have you ever wondered what, from a business perspective, the world of sharing, free, and open source looks like to a lawyer?

Challenging! Chaotic? Creative.

Pam Chestek is an intellectual property lawyer. She runs Chestek Legal, a practice that focuses on giving practical, legal advice on branding, marketing, and protecting and sharing content. In this interview she shares with me what caused her to challenge traditional wisdom back in law school, the kind of chaos involved in analyzing free and open source software through the lens of the law, and how creativity is at the heart of it all.  » Read more

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New report: What the Government Accountability Office has to say about Non-Practicing Entities

patent reform

During the August Congressional recess, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its long-awaited study on Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), required under the America Invents Act (AIA).

The report paints a rather grim picture of the current patent system. It reinforces the call by key leaders in Congress for legislative reforms that address abusive patent litigation as well as action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the courts, and the US PTO.

» Read more

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FSFE opposes claim that free software harms consumers

balancing free software

Microsoft and Nokia protest "price predation" and play at being prey.


Does no-cost software harm consumers? The FairSearch coalition thinks so, at least when it comes to Google: They say Google engages in predatory pricing when it distributes Android – a Linux-based mobile operating system – without charge. Recently, FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) responded in a letter to the European Commission, labeling as "wrong" and "dangerous" FairSearch’s claims, and saying further: » Read more

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