Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Cloud Best Practices Network, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Harry Trott

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
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
"Operations is sort of the maturation of cloud utilization and the move to the cloud," explained Steve Anderson, Product Manager for BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
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, discussed 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.
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...