Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Linux sued

After so many years of hot air, veiled threats and FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), Linux has finally been sued. To be precise, Linux vendors Red Hat and Novell have been sued for patent infringement. Groklaw is reporting that on Tuesday, the two companies were sued by IP Innovation LLC and Technology Licensing Corp. for violating three patents having to do with windowing user interfaces.

Interestingly Apple has also dealt with these guys previously and recently settled out of court for alleged infringements over one of the three patents used in this case.

What will happen? Nobody knows. It would be interesting to gather a large group of industry experts and use an audience response system (which allows large groups of people to vote on a topic or answer a question) and see what people think will happen. One thing is for sure, this will be another long drawn out case like the SCO case.

Red Hat have an indemnity programme to protect its customers and recently Novell signed a big cross patent deal with Microsoft. Also interesting is that IBM are missing from the list (possibly because it already has licensed these patents for other products) or because it has the money to fight such a case til the death.