Fwd: Re: [fsl-discuss] Red Hat Patent Policy
tompoe at renonevada.net
Wed Jun 5 19:12:41 CDT 2002
On Wednesday 05 June 2002 15:44, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
> Jeremy Simmons <jsimmons at media.is.tohoku.ac.jp> writes:
> > > Is Red Hat's "Our Promise with Respect to Software Patents We Hold"
> > > legally binding?
> > >
> > > http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html
> > >
> > > Could it be revoked if there was a change in control of the company?
> > Red Hat is taking out patents in order to build up a defensive position.
> > I do not understand the need for this. If the information was just made
> > public then future users would not be able to claim patents over that
> > because it was pre-existing knowledge and would not be innovative.
> It's defensive because it gives Red Hat some ammunition should they
> face a patent lawsuit from some other software company. It gives them
> a chance of offering a patent cross-licensing agreement or threatening
> a counter-suit.
> In today's software patent world, in which any software company is
> guaranteed to be in violation of dozens of patents, it is crazy for
> any software company to not obtain software patents. Software patents
> are easy to get and, for a corporation, relatively cheap, and even a
> weak shield against an infringement lawsuit is better than no shield
> at all.
Hi: I suppose that's good thinking in a proprietary world. Open Source,
however, is not concerned with patents, copyrights, or keen business savvy in
a proprietary world. Prior art, public domain, and ethics control in our
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