Patents

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So how does OIN help MySQL, really?

With apologies to Planet MySQL readers. This post is about MySQL, but it is not technical, and probably not at all interesting to many of my usual readers. But it didn't fit in a tweet...

The Open Invention Network announced that its members have agreed to broaden the scope of the "protection" that it offers its members against software patent attacks against "The Linux System". Simon Phipps, a former Sun collague whom I follow on Twitter, covered the OIN in a very informative InfoWorld piece:

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My IFCLA banquet note about forking and IPR law

Below is my talk from the International Federation of Computer Law Associations conference banquet that took place in Helsinki last week. (It is post-edited to match what was actually said.)

I have to say I was quite honored to be asked to speak. I was preceded by Finlands Minister of Justice Tuija Brax and later in the evening followed by imho Finlands funniest magician Martti Vannas. The dinner was set in the old stock market building of Helsinki, an exquisite restaurant now. I'm happy to say the talk was well received and many of the lawyers came to thank me afterwards.

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Software patents are a bad legacy to leave behind

Glyn Moody has an interesting piece on Why Patents are Like Black Holes where he looks at the situation when a large patent holder goes bankrupt - or is about to. His point is that even if a company otherwise can go out of business cleanly, the patents often remain as a piece of "IPR" that can come back and haunt us like a zombie.

Also Matt Asay recently weighed in on the subject:

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Matt Asay on Alfresco business practices

This blog is supposedly at least partly about Open Source business models. Here is a LinuxWorld interview with Matt Asay about many interesting actions taken in running Alfresco as an Open Source company. While this is a must read for anyone doing Open Source business, I'll summarise the key points here. (The article is rather long, but again, everything is worth reading.)

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Surprise attack to get rid of software patents in the US

I did not see this coming.

There is a case coming up in the US Supreme Court, where Microsoft and AT&T are arguing whether a software patent granted in the US can also regulate how some software can be sold abroad. The case itself borders on ridiculous for an engineer to understand, but there seems to be no limits on what lawyers for big companies can come up with. Of course we don't want to care in Europe whether the US patent system allows something or not, just as we don't care about any other US laws either in our independent nations.

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Novell CEO trying to understand his customers

SUSE is indeed the nr1 choice right now, but I think there are many of us troubled with the direction Novell is going. (Part of the problem being, we can only guess what the direction is...)[...] I often wonder whether Novell knew what they were buying into when they bought both Ximian and SUSE. (me discussing Novell on LWN about 6 months ago)

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