09.06.07

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When You Can’t Beat Them, Sue Them

Posted in Courtroom, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SCO, SUN, UNIX at 10:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday’s patent du jour rant covered in brief the NetApp-Sun lawsuit, among other things. It did not take long for observers to respond. NetApp would claim that it isn’t “the next SCO” (Novell and Microsoft are tough competitors for inheritance of SCO’s role), but some others beg to differ. Here is Matt Asay’s take:

I know nothing about the validity of either side’s patent claims. Only a judge (or, more likely, a settlement) will elucidate either claim. But I have watched Microsoft respond to open source with patent FUD, and I’m willing to believe that others will fight back in this same way. I don’t know what NetApp is–Hitz argues pretty persuasively that there were other reasons involved–but I do believe that any company that relies on an old way of selling its software needs to respond to the open-source threat.

Patent suits are one way to do that. An ugly, and ultimately futile way, but a way nonetheless.

After what we’ve seen coming from Microsoft while Novell looked the other way (even perceived it as a competitive advantage), this should be nothing to sneeze at. Some say it is a another test case for open source software.

A knowledgeable blogger, who is also a king of rants, spilled the beans (and rightly so). Censored text below.

Now, this is enough to me. I don’t ****ing care who is infringing whose patents. It’s more and more clear that patents (all kind of patents!) don’t do anything to the benefit of the public. They’re not good for the humanity at large, but only to lawyers.

And when you see how two major IT actors are trying to make money from lawsuits instead of making profit from the technologies they’re supposed to develop, you have all the rights in the world to think that the current Establishment is broken.

Time for change. Time to stop a predatory and self-destructive industry where threats and fear are a driver, rather than actual development. Albert Einstein once said that the best things come from working in freedom (not in the restrictive environment and the shadow of IP trolls such as SCO). Nobody needs this. Nobody needs IP deals such as Novell’s, either. Novell plays the wrong game and takes the wrong side.

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