Open source community called to fight war on patents
Publish date: 13 April 2005
Issue Number: 1076
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw & Management
Category: Intellectual Property
Stanford law professor and free software advocate, Lawrence Lessig, has called on the open source community to stand up and fight or risk being buried by patent-wielding legacy businesses with arsenals of powerful lawyers.
He said: There is a war against the freedom to innovate and this community has done way too little to resist. According to Lessig, companies like Microsoft want to lock out competition, and the open source community is the anti-monopoly. His advice to the open source crowd was to stop sitting back and watching others wage the battle and to become part of the struggle to ensure that innovations don\'t get eclipsed by the incumbents who want to stifle competition, according to the ZDNet blog report.
Full report on the ZDNet blog
Interestingly, IBM a vast collector of patents has announced another contribution of its patent portfolio for free use. At the beginning of the year, the company announced that it would make 500 patents mainly for software code that manages electronic commerce, storage, image processing, data handling and Internet communications freely available to others. Now the company has announced that all of its future patent contributions to the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards the largest standards group for e-commerce on the Web would be free. According to a report in The New York Times, many companies are reconsidering their strategies on intellectual property. The Internet, globalisation and cost pressures are driving businesses to collaborate in the pursuit of higher productivity and profits, and to accelerate the pace of product development. That collaboration requires greater sharing of more technical information. The result is that the terms of trade in intellectual property, and the boundary lines, are shifting. Full report in The New York Times