Thank God, there is at least one company under the Sun willing to fight software patents. Red Hat has petitioned the Supreme Court to review the legality of software patents. I read about this on one of my favorite web sites: Groklaw.net. Click on the link for the full article.
Here is an excerpt:
RALEIGH, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced it has filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court. In the brief, Red Hat explains the practical problems of software patents to software developers. The brief, filed in the Bilski case, asks the Supreme Court to adopt the lower court’s machine-or-transformation test and to make clear that it excludes software from patentability.
Written code is already protected by copyright law. Software patents cost millions of dollars in the most ridiculous litigation you can imagine.
Remember Amazons ‘one click’? Patent trolls sued for that. Then there is the classic suit, of NTP vs. RIM over “Single Mailbox Integration” patent.
Here is brief description of the patent:
Using this patented technology, Blackberry integrates seamlessly with a user’s existing e-mail account providing a wireless extension of the user’s regular e-mail mailbox. The user can read, compose, forward, or reply to messages from their mobile device while maintaining their single, existing e-mail address and mailbox.
This is patentable??? It’s so obvious, has anyone heard of IMAP…? How could anyone get a patent for this? Delivery of email regardless of how many mail boxes should NOT be patentable. Software patents are an attack on FOSS, Free Open Source Software. United States patent law gives a distinct advantage to gigantic corporations whom can extort money from smaller companies that are less capitalized and likely to settle. It’s bullshit and it is stifling innovation and competition. The real losers are the citizens of the world, of whom pay a hidden tax in patents and monopolies.