This is how patent settlements should be done!

I am really pleased to read the announcment by Red Hat that they have reached a patent settlement with a two entities that goes beyond the usual that is for less imagnative companies.

“Typically when a company settles a patent lawsuit, it focuses on getting safety for itself,” said Rob Tiller, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, IP. “But that was not enough for us, we wanted broad provisions that covered our customers, who place trust in us, and the open source community, whose considerable efforts benefit our business.”

Software patents are an abuse of the patent system. Until we get rid of software patents, I think these types of settlements would have to continue. I am certain that there will be more “submarine patents”, and only a drastic overhaul of the US patent system, will we see the end of this abuse. It is particularly unfortunate from my perspective as Singapore has inherited some of these nuisances following the US/Singapore free trade agreement signed a few years ago. Case in point is this abomination. Another stupid claim is by none other than the good chaps at Microsoft – the alleged 200+ patent violations. They dare not state what is being violated for we all know that there are really none and if there is, it will be worked around and made to be a non starter. So, Mr Ballmer, what say you?

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