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Getting Inventive With Software Patents

Oct 24, 2007, 18:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)

"The dangers of software patents for free software have always been a hot issue. But with the news that Red Hat and Novell are being sued for alleged patent infringement by IP Innovation, the matter has moved from theory into practice. In fact, in the battle against software patents, it turns out that the open source world already has a rather powerful weapon in its armoury--even if it's one that few people know about.

"The Open Invention Network (OIN) is a company set up in 2005 with investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. It has a war-chest of tens of millions of dollars (it won't give an exact figure) that enables it to buy software patents on the open market for the defence of the GNU/Linux ecosystem, which it does in a very novel way..."

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