"Fortunately, software patents are a relatively minor issue in
the hardware-oriented VMEbus market. As local block captain, it's
Alderman's job to lead the community fire brigade whenever patent
issues do come up. Such was the case last year when networking
systems Nortel (NT) issued letters to nearly a dozen VITA members
demanding three separate royalty payments for all hardware systems
employing Nortel bus-board patents."
"In a quick show of community solidarity against this so-called
"triple taxation," Alderman and the VITA staff mobilized VMEbus
vendors into a joint defense association, or JDA, pooling both
legal fees and research efforts to dig up past examples of "prior
art" to undermine Nortel's patent claim. So far, the case has yet
to make it to court...."
"The issue of software and Web patents has become an
increasing concern throughout the high-tech industry within the
last few months. What with more than 13,000 new patents
introduced last year, nearly one out of 10 granted patents,
software patents have become yet another weapon in the intellectual
property arsenal of most corporations."
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