In an article entitled Patents and the Penguin, the non-partisan Alexis de Tocqueville Institute observes, "[i]t is not uncommon today for patent fights to erupt even between parties that have engaged in rigorous diligence. By contrast, open source developers and distributors do not engage in patent searches, thus, there is a real possibility we will see a major patent fight involving open source, sooner than later. The article also ominously warns: "IBM will be competing with large Linux-based developers and distributors themselves. As the deployment of Linux increases, it can be expected that IBM will be going head-to-head with its "friends" in the Linux community. It is unquestionable that the biggest irony of all will be when Big Blue resorts to using its war chest of patents against a "friend" in the Linux community." Even Homer Simpson can see this coming.
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