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A possible game changer for invalidating bad software patents

Feb 04, 2011, 13:33 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Tiller)

"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 free and open source software.

"Today Red Hat joined in an amicus brief in support of this change in Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Limited Partnership. [PDF] On the amicus brief, Red Hat is part of a diverse group that includes Google, Verizon, Consumber Electronics Association, Comcast, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, HTC, Intuit, L-3 Communications, LinkedIn, Lockheed Martin, Mastercard, The New York Times, Rackspace, Shutterfly, Software & Information Industry Association, Time Warner, Wal-Mart, and Zynga.

"When companies with such different models, philosophies, and experiences can get together, it suggests that a lot of people recognize that there's a serious problem that must be addressed."

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