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Two on Red Hat Patent Applications

May 26, 2002, 01:54 (26 Talkback[s])

"Red Hat, it seems, has decided to get into the software patent business. A search of the appropriate databases turns up the following applications:

  • "Embedded Protocol Objects, mixture of static and dynamic responses to HTTP requests, as found in TUX.
  • "Method and apparatus for atomic file lookup, what appears to be a lookup optimization in the Linux dentry cache..."

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"Red Hat has applied for patents on two bits of technology, and the community is reacting with rabid outrage.

"That reaction is certainly premature and possibly misguided. Here's why.

"All that is known so far is that the company has applied for two patents. One of these involves what is called "Embedded Protocol Objects," and is a method of dealing with HTTP requests. The other is an optimized way of achieving file lookup in the Linux dentry cache. That, again, is all that is known.

"What is not known is whether the patents will be granted and, if they are, how they will be used..."

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