Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Miska Kaipiainen, Elizabeth White, Automic Blog, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

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
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...