Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Elizabeth White, Karthick Viswanathan, Larry Alton

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Linux Containers

Open Source Cloud: Article

LinuxWorld 2006 Boston: Software Patents Discussed – Bruce Perens Holds "State of Open Source" Press Conference

"Boston just isn't working out as a venue for the Winter LinuxWorld"

"One of the largest problems faced by Open Source," claimed Bruce Perens (pictured here talking to SYS-CON.TV at last year's LinuxWorld in San Francisco) in a "State of Open Source" press conference he held at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in Boston last week, "is the disparity in the ability to contest a patent claim through litigation."

According to the American IP Association's Economic Survey, it costs $3-5M to prosecute or defend a single case, Perens said, yet "Open Source participants are, in many cases, individuals who can not sustain a singleday in court but who should not be denied the right to practice technical development."

"Only by moving the process of contesting of a patent out of the courts," he continued, "does it appear that we can grant justice to the poor as well as the wealthy."

Perens used the "State of Open Source" press conference to propose a solution:

"The only option I see to get the Open Source developer off the hook today is post-grant opposition through the patent office, which is is heard or not arbitrarily depending on the pleasure of the director is, so far, very limited in its process, and doesn't seem to have deferred prosecution of high profile cases like RIM Systems."
Only in this way, according to Perens, will it ever be possible to prevent patent holders from stopping an Open Source project in its tracks "just by filing to sue."

Microsoft, for example - according to Perens - "could stop all new innovation in the Linux space by bringing suits using newer patents, at the cost of some survivable damage to themselves." (His theory, mind you, is that they won't do so until they get unified software patenting laws in Europe. "They won't create bad news that would sink their own legislative efforts.")

Perens reminded the audience how Steve Ballmer rattled the software patent sabre against Linux in Forbes magazine, but noted that "Every day that Microsoft doesn't file those suits, we get a better defense, because of the Doctrine of Laches."

Ths defense, he explained, works as follows: Laches says that if you hold off a patent suit waiting for the market to grow, you lose.

"Laches is an expensive defense to run and it's no sure thing," he added. "The standard interval for a Laches defense is 6 years, however Laches cases have been won witha period of as little as one year."

Never one to mince words, Perens then let rip on NTP vs. RIM:

"The NTP vs. RIM systems case has given us a new poster-boy forsoftware patent problems. First, the U.S. Patent Office declared the NTP patents invalid. Then RIM paid NTP $500M for an instant end to the case, because Treo sales were gaining on Blackberry due to the doubt the case created.

It's clear that justice was not done. A classical patent troll ran a legal extortion campaign, using patents confirmed not to embody any invention, and made a cool half billion from it.

This case sends a signal to get-rich-quick artists everywhere: it's not evennecessary for your patent to be valid. Become a troll, extort, litigate, be rewarded! When you're done, take 10% of your plunder and become a philantrophist for the tax shelter: the man on the street will consider you a hero and a leader."

Bruce Perens may or may not be giving a LinuxWorld Conference & Expo "State of the Open Source" press conference on the east coast next year, mind you. He may no longer be welcome. Not if the bosses at IDG World Expo, anyway, get to hear of what he had to say about this year's show in Boston:
"This show is a disappointment. It seems that Boston just isn't working out as a venue for the Winter LinuxWorld Expo, as the Summer show in San Francisco is huge compared to this one and of course Open Source is bigger than ever. Most shocking about the show is the fact that the two anchor tenants, HP and IBM, are missing from the exhibition floor.

It's New York or Bust, folks."
IDG World Expo had not responded to Perens' relocation thoughts as of this writing.

More Stories By Linux News Desk

SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

Comments (5) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
ByeBye Perens 04/09/06 08:16:54 AM EDT

} Bruce Perens may or may not be giving a
} LinuxWorld Conference & Expo "State of the
} Open Source" press conference on the east
} coast next year, mind you. He may no longer
} be welcome.

Bruce has given 6 of these now, if memory serves. If he was "uninvited" who would be a better choice for the Fall 'State of Open Source' session I wonder. Nominations, please!!!

Patent Disarray 04/09/06 08:13:51 AM EDT

For all the talk about how ridiculous our patent system has become, there's almost no downside to those who file bad patents. That only makes the incentive such that people are told to file as many patents as possible, effectively overwhelming the system.

FishandChips 04/09/06 08:07:44 AM EDT

Articles about how awful the patent system is are ten a penny. What is very hard to find are folks who have thought this one through, have some cogent and realistic proposals, and who are prepared to build support for change among those in a position to change things. Anyway, it doesn't sound as if Mr Perens will be one. Big cheese massage sounds more his gig.

standBy4 04/09/06 08:04:49 AM EDT

So Bruce Perens tries yet again to convince the Linux community that it's time to challenge the patent system. Good luck.

jlward 04/09/06 08:03:09 AM EDT

One thing Perems didn't mention is how Microsoft seems to be using the Eolas case as a means to try and knock out Flash and other platforms that are a threat.

Microsoft has said that recent changes to IE in which standard object embed's now must be activated, were to comply with the Eolas patent. However, I recall reading an article which stated that the court did not order Microsoft to do anything of the sort.

This smells awfully similar to tactics Microsoft took to knock Java off the desktop. And even if Adobe and others were to sue, by the time a suit would be resolved, it would most likely be too late.

@ThingsExpo Stories
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"DX encompasses the continuing technology revolution, and is addressing society's most important issues throughout the entire $78 trillion 21st-century global economy," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair. "DX World Expo has organized these issues along 10 tracks with more than 150 of the world's top speakers coming to Istanbul to help change the world."
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.