Last month the Federal Trade Commission issued a report that acknowledged important problems in the U.S. Patent system as it affects software. The government doesn't do that every day, so that's good news. The FTC report also suggested some reforms that could mitigate some of those problems.
Like many, I was surprised-but-not-really when Pamela Jones announced that she would be retiring original content on the legal analysis site that grew to fame within and without the open source community as it rose to do battle with the incredibly audacious claims by The SCO Group that Linux was... Read more
Creative Commons posted two pieces to their blog today regarding their licenses, and in particular, CC0, the Creative Commons public domain notice. Plaintext versions of Creative Commons licenses The Creative Commons licenses are now available in plaintext form:
In my March 2 post on patent reform, I noted that many of the provisions offered in prior versions of patent reform bills were removed from the pending bill. On March 8, the Senate passed S. 23, now called the “America Invents Act” 95-5. As one might guess, any legislation passed with such... Read more
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