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Total victory for open source software in a patent lawsuit

May 03, 2010, 22:04 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Tiller)

"The jury verdict last Friday in favor of Red Hat and Novell in a case based on bad software patents owned by "non-practicing entities" is an important victory for the open source community. Those in the business of acquiring bad software patents to coerce payments or bring lawsuits should be worried. Two such businesses were plaintiffs in our case, and they did their best to confuse the jury in one of their favorite locales, eastern Texas. But it didn't work. The jury unanimously found that the patents were not infringed, and, even worse for the plaintiffs, that the patents were invalid.

"The case was about allegations by IP Innovation, L.L.C. (a subsidiary of Acacia Technologies), along with Technology Licensing Corporation that Red Hat and Novell infringed four claims from U.S. Patents 5,072,412, 5,394,521, and 5,533,183. The patents share a common disclosure and are all titled titled "User interface with multiple workspaces for sharing display system objects." The patents relate to a computer-implemented system and method for providing a graphical user interface with multiple workspaces."

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