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LinuxInsider: Open Source: Chicken Little and Age-Appropriate Explanations

May 04, 2005, 19:45 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Heather J. Meeker)

"In the mid 1990s, when I first began running into open source in my practice, I noticed that open source had a very strange effect on intellectual property lawyers. It was a Chicken Little situation, but instead of crying 'the sky is falling' they were crying 'the code is infringing.'

"Nearly ten years later, very few intellectual property lawsuits have actually been filed relating to open source. Roughly, the scorecard looks like this:

  • "Trademark infringement suits: 1 (MySQL-NuSphere)
  • "Copyright infringement suits: 1/2 (SCO, after modifying the complaint)
  • "Trade secret infringement suits: 1/2 (SCO, original complaint)
  • "Patent infringement suits: 0..."

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