Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Anders Wallgren, Yeshim Deniz, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo

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
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
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 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 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...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
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...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.