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Red Hat Paid $4.2m To Settle Patent Suit 48

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-a-lotta-CDs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'Red Hat paid $US4.2 million to settle a patent infringement suit brought against it by FireStar Software, an intellectual property activist claims. Florian Mueller, who made a name for himself during the campaign to prevent the adoption of software patents in Europe some years ago, said he had dug up a court filing that showed the payment had been made.' Mueller says the payment made by Red Hat was kept secret but news about it surfaced in another suit."
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Red Hat Paid $4.2m To Settle Patent Suit

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  • by Desler (1608317) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @10:40AM (#35491438)

    Does Red Hat own any software patents itself?

    Yes. They even have a whole page [redhat.com] about patents:

    One defense against such misuse is to develop a corresponding portfolio of software patents for defensive purposes. Many software companies, both open source and proprietary, pursue this strategy. In the interests of our company and in an attempt to protect and promote the open source community, Red Hat has elected to adopt this same stance. We do so reluctantly because of the perceived inconsistency with our stance against software patents; however, prudence dictates this position.

    At the same time, Red Hat will continue to maintain its position as an open source leader and dedicated participant in open source collaboration by extending the promise set forth below.

  • Known troll ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by janoc (699997) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @10:48AM (#35491530)
    This guy is just sensationalist troll seeking attention. Remember how he has recently claimed that he has a "proof" that Google violated Sun's copyrights in Android? It was very soundly debunked. He is just using this "secret" to attack RedHat for no reason - spin alert, guys! Not exactly a credible source to report ...
  • Re:So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @11:33AM (#35492172) Journal

    If you RTFA, you lose 1 IQ point for every minute before you realise that it's by Florian Mueller (who made a name for himself on Slashdot for repeatedly posting incorrect and inflammatory posts, and is now using an anonymous sock puppet because even the dim editors have learned to reject his posts by now).

    Only royalty-free standards are compatible with the GPL. A one-off payment by Red Hat to the patent holder for a non-revokable, sublicenseable, patent license is not. Neither is buying the patent outright and granting everyone the right to use it. The GPL prevents you from imposing any additional requirements on downstream recipients (for example, requiring them from to buy a patent license from you or a third party), but it does not prevent you from imposing conditions on yourself (for example, requiring you to buy or license all of the relevant patents and license them to everyone downstream).

  • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @12:05PM (#35492622)
    Well color me surprised. Just for fun, type "Florian Mueller Microsoft" into your search engine of choice and read some of the results from the first page. This guy pretends to be a friend of Open Source, but his actions speak otherwise. I would be ashamed, after taking money from Red Hat, to be writing articles attempting to cause them grief.
  • by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witnessNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @12:26PM (#35492914) Homepage Journal
    As other have noted, Florian is now a Microsoft Shill. Yes, he made himself a name in the F/OSS community a while back; only then he later sold it to Microsoft as part of the OOXML ISO process, and has continued with Software Patents and anything else MS wants him to write about. So, take anything he says with a grain of salt at best - if you give any credence to it at all.

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