In a satire of OIN‘s stated aim “to promote the Linux system by using patents to create a collaborative ecosystem”, the FFII used the opportunity provided by April 1st’s traditional gag pulling to announce two new “initiatives”, labelled “Coin2Patent” and “Offensive Publications”. Directly playing on the names and concepts of two OIN programs “Peer-to-Patent” and “Defensive Publications”, the initiative descriptions closely mirror those of their OIN counterparts but with a hard satirical edge.
The actual Peer-to-Patent program describes itself as a “system that aims to improve the quality of issued patents” and Defensive Publications are called “powerful preemptive disclosure [which] prevents other parties from obtaining a patent on the product, device or method.” The FFII gag paints their alternative projects as crowd funding for patent trolls and “basically the patents themselves” respectively. Read Alexandra’s full write up in the ComputerWorldUK spot.
The trolls are coming. It’s inevitable. As the success of cloud computing continues, grows and evolves and the size of the associated deals increases, the eyes of scavenging trolls eager to make a quick parasitic buck are drawn more and more to the opportunities awaiting them in that field.
They can pick up the relevant patents from a number of different sources, notably from failed start ups and from university research facilities keen to get quick pay back for their work. For large corporations for whom trolling is only one of many lines of income, large portfolios of patents will have been created already in the course of their cloud computing business units regular operations.
Knowing that the attacks are coming, that the trolls are poised for battle, what defences can we prepare? This is a situation that OIN speaks directly into. Among the many new updates to their anti-troll arsenal there is an intentional development towards protection of cloud services. This includes the addition of the packages from OpenStack to the new (March 6th) Linux definition, which given the OIN membership of IBM and Red Hat, both heavily invested in OpenStack, means the cloud infrastructure project has serious protection.
If your business relies on open source software, joining the Open Invention Network is an effective defence, worthy of your serious consideration. For more detail on OIN’s move towards defending the cloud, check out Simon’s InfoWorld article.
We delivered a workshop on defences against software patents at SFSCon 2013 in Bolzano, with travel sponsored by Open Invention Network. Here’s the video summarising the event
If you’d like to attend a similar seminar, let us know.
During the first couple of weeks of July Simon will be in Brazil for a number of events.
If you’re in Porto Alegre you could hear him talk at FISL, where he’ll talk on Wednesday July 3rd on the topic of how open source turned businesses and governments around the world into users and promoters of free software. He’s also speaking on the Friday July 5th about the threat of software patents, (even to those in a country which doesn’t seem to allow them) and what steps can be taken to counter that threat.
If you’re in São Paulo, he’s also talking at TDC on Wednesday July 10th, where he’ll be talking about OSI, the MariaDB Foundation and again about software patents and what you can do about them.
If you’d like to meet with Simon while he’s in Brazil – for example to discuss joining OSI or the MariaDB Foundation or to become an OIN licensee – please use the contact form.
The patent system as it stands today could use a general overhaul. We need to see fundamental shifts in society’s understanding of the reasons for and uses of patents. But in the mean time there are all manner of companies, (from the small to the very large) facing patent threats right now.
What defences can be mustered against the trolls and the corporate aggressors defending their legacy control? Open Invention Network plays the broken system to protect the open source community from software patents. Read more in our InfoWorld article today.
After an introduction to Open Invention Network by Meshed Insights Ltd, the fast-growing US open source professional services company Open Software Integrators llc have signed up as licensees to join the mesh of mutual patent defence OIN offers. Congratulations, and welcome!
Open Invention Network is a novel company formed to operate patent defenses for open source developers. It owns a portfolio of patents relevant to key open source technologies, runs a defensive publication scheme and operates a patent cross-licensing network of well over 500 companies. I’m pleased to announce that Meshed Insights has joined the Open Invention Network as a licensee in that network. This move both demonstrates our commitment to minimising patent risks throughout the open source community and also offers us some protection against patent aggression.
We have also reached an agreement with OIN to represent them at mutually agreed events and to assist clients in themselves becoming Open Invention Network licensees. If you are interested in becoming a licensee, which you most likely will be able to do free of charge, please contact us.