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CNET: Lineo Licenses Controversial Technology

Aug 08, 2001, 08:25 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by CNET News.com Staff)

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Lineo has decided to license patented FSMLabs technology for its products. It's an interesting case of a patent being used to benefit work on GPL'd code, and it's centered around a body of code the embedded community isn't entirely sure deserves a patent:

"The furor is an example of the complications that can arise in reconciling the popular open-source development model with businesses that are based on intellectual property.

Complicating the matter, however, is the fact that FSMLabs is not looking to profit from the patent, unless licensees are themselves profiting. The distinction is important, because many developers use RTLinux or similar systems for noncommercial or research work.

The license gives Lineo the right to use FSMLabs' patented dual-kernel real-time technology, which allows the full capabilities of Linux to be made available without distracting from the real-time tasks important in robotics, medical instruments, network appliances and other areas that rely on embedded technologies."

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