Software patents: The talk of 2012

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Looking back over the law channel posts of 2012, I was not surprised to see that software patents were a major concern. The high volume of significant patent lawsuits of competitors and rising levels of NPE (aka patent trolls or patent assertion entities) suits has been the subject of both open source community and mainstream media interest.

There were new ideas on patent reform, and an increasing recognition by the public at large that software patents can hinder innovation. We also saw interesting developments in the areas of internet privacy and freedom and copyright law. I'll go out on a limb and make a prediction:

there will be more to think about and write about in these areas in 2013. 

Top 10 open*law posts in 2012

  1. Closing the software patent loophole: Professor Lemley's new proposal, Jared Engstrom
  2. Prometheus bound: An important precedent for the next software patent case, Rob Tiller
  3. Oracle v. Google shows the folly of U.S. software patent law, Julie Samuels
  4. What SOPA means for [fill in the blank], Ruth Suehle
  5. What to do about the "patent troll" problem, Rob Tiller
  6. Oracle v. Google and API copyrightability, Richard Fontana
  7. Infographic: How patents hinder innovation, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  8. Apple, Samsung, and the white queen's gambit, Andy Updegrove
  9. Pinterest and copyright: Why you should keep sharing--and keep pinning, Ruth Suehle
  10. Should software patents be abolished?, Rob Tiller

Remembering the SOPA blackout

People and companies across the globe expressed their views about Internet censorship on January 18, 2012. Here's what that day looked like.

      What do you think we'll see happen in 2013?

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      Rob Tiller is vice president and assistant general counsel for Red Hat, where he manages patent, trademark, and copyright matters. He is a frequent speaker and writer on open source legal issues. Before coming to Red Hat, he was a partner with the law firm of Helms, Mulliss & Wicker, PLLC, where he specialized in commercial and IP litigation.

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