The threat from software patent trolls arises not from an invisible distant origin, but actually from within open source communities. So that's the best place to eradicate it.
Yesterday a patent reform bill passed in the Senate, but the sound and fury don't seem to signify much. The legislation as it evolved has shed most of the features that could have been controversial, or could have significantly improved the current patent system. The press around this legislation,... Read more
Congress has been considering some form of patent reform for several years now, beginning with the Patent Reform Act of 2005. Once again, patent reform in is the air, as the Patent Reform Act of 2011 (the "PRA") has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is scheduled to be debated by... Read more
As I wrote previously concerning indemnity, I constantly encounter both governments and companies claiming they have policies permitting or even favouring open source software. Yet there's still a huge amount of proprietary software being procured by them.
All over the world, I encounter both governments and companies claiming they have a policy permitting or even favouring open source software--indeed, the new President of Brazil just issued a decree on that subject. Yet when you actually look at what they are doing, you find that there's still a... Read more
A case now before the Supreme Court could lower the threat level created by bad patents in a meaningful way. The issue before the Court is whether to change the burden of proof on patent invalidity from clear-and-convincing evidence to the preponderance standard. This change would be good for... Read more
Faced with a potentially large threat to free/libre and open source software from patent consortium CPTN, the two organisations have collaborated publicly for the first time.
In December, the long awaited version 2.0 of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) was released by the European Commission. Version 1.0 had defined “open standard” as royalty-free, a definition of enormous impact on standards policy because it focused on the user perspective rather than... Read more
Over the holidays I thought a bit about the copyright conundrum. Is copyright a vital source of creativity, or more of a hindrance? Most of us assume that we need strong laws to prevent copying of certain forms of expression, including books, movies and computer programs. We generally take it as... Read more
Much of the problem with the current U.S. patent system involves haze. Whether it is ambiguity regarding what the patent covers or murkiness about whether the technology covered by the patent is actually new, patent plaintiffs regularly use this uncertainty to their advantage. This ambiguity–often... Read more