tridge offers a new patch to Linux's VFAT filesystem
Jun 30, 2009, 12:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)
"Q1. Has this patch undergone legal review?
"A1. Both the original patch and the new patch that we posted
today have been through legal review by several lawyers who
specialize in this area. We can't post all of the details of those
reviews, but John Lanza is CCd on this email, and hopefully he will
be able to answer any questions that arise or if he can't answer
some question he may be able to explain why he can't answer it.
John is a patent attorney who represents the Linux Foundation.
"Q2. What can we safely post on LKML about patent
"A2. Almost nothing. Even a statement of the form "If A were the
case, then B would result in infringement of patent C" is extremely
dangerous. It allows a patent attorney to argue that truth or
falsity of A is a legal question of fact, even if A is an obvious
technical fallacy (remember that the patent holder can call on its
own expert witnesses). The existence of a legal question of fact
can be used to defeat a pre-trial summary judgment motion for
noninfringement and dismissal of the lawsuit. The defeat of
pre-trial summary judgment motions results in the suit going to
trial, which is always quite expensive. The patent holder can be
expected to choose a target that cannot afford a trial, resulting
in a settlement or capitulation. The patent holder can then use the
fact that target #1 settled to apply more pressure on targets #2,
#3, and so on."