Top 10 legal issues for free software of 2013

1. Android patent litigation

The litigation surrounding the Android operating system has continued around the world, but a new front has opened in a suit recently filed by the Rockstar Consortium against Google, Samsung, ZTE, Pantec, Asus, LG Electronics, HTC, and Huawei. The Rockstar Consortium consists of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony. Unlike the litigation between Apple Computer and Samsung, this lawsuit goes after basic features of Android and could have a much broader impact on the Android market. The litigation between Apple Computer, Inc. and Samsung continues with cases pending throughout the world.

As I mentioned in last year’s post, a decision in Silicon Valley awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages for Samsung’s violation of its patents. The judge reduced the damages, but the parties were granted a new trial and in the fall of 2013, the jury resolved the dispute over damages by awarding Apple $290 million. According to eWeek, Apple has been awarded $930 million across all of its suits (Red Hat represents some of the parties in other matters, I offer no opinion on the correctness of the decision). The litigation will clearly continue.