"Raph Levien is the model of an independent inventor. The
Berkeley, Calif., software developer says he was probably 10 years
old when he filed for his first patent."
"Levien's patent on a technique for protecting memory in
computer systems from crashes turned out to be quite a success. He
licensed it and started a career of dreaming up ideas and locking
them away with patents."
"I've gotten a substantial amount of money for my patent
portfolio over the years," he says. "It's been a very reasonable
income to pay myself."
"So it was something of a surprise when Levien posted a notice
on his Web site earlier this year, offering a free license to
anyone who uses his patented ideas in software protected by the Gnu
Public License. In other words, anyone who shares "open source" or
free software doesn't have to worry about Levien suing for patent
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