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[News] SaaS and Software Patente as Open Source Loopholes, Weakness

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Free software vs. software-as-a-service: Is the GPL too weak for the Web?

,----[ Quote ]
| Your data, their machine
| Most users of GNU/Linux and free software already understand this—at least in 
| a vague, gut sense. But our understanding (if not the principle) is based on 
| an unstated assumption. The assumption is this: We are ultimately talking 
| about our devices, right?   


Sun Wins Partial Stay For Re-Exam Of NetApp Patent

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| Portfolio Media, New York (May 27, 2008)--A judge has partly stayed software 
| company Network Appliance Inc.'s patent lawsuit against rival Sun 
| Microsystems Inc. over Sun's ZFS technology, pending the U.S. Patent and 
| Trademark Office's re-examination of one of the patents in the suit.   



Sun fires another shot at NetApp

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| But perhaps the harshest accusation Sun leveled against NetApp in its latest 
| filing came in the opening paragraph of the suit. Chiding NetApp for only 
| spending about $390 million on research and development last year and for 
| holding “only approximately 200″ patents, Sun declared: “Indeed, rather than 
| innovate, NetApp builds on the innovation of others” and “NetApp … uses 
| extensive amounts of open source code developed by others, without 
| contributing any innovation of its own.”      


Novell removes gloves in SCO bankruptcy court

,----[ Quote ]
| In a filing in US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Wednesday, Novell objected 
| to SCO's motion to reimburse York Capital Management (York) for its expenses 
| in making a failed bid to buy substantially all of SCO's few remaining 
| business assets. Virtually all of SCO's other creditors objected to SCO's 
| motion, too, but Novell's objection is worthy of note for its directness and 
| tone of utter disdain.     
| Novell writes of SCO's request: "Last Winter, the Debtors [that's SCO] asked 
| for just such relief for [York] in connection with their 'emergency' motion 
| to approve bidding procedures for a proposed sale of substantially all of 
| their assets to York, but they withdrew the request because they never did 
| reach any kind of sale agreement with York. No matter, it seems, for now the 
| Debtors seek an expense reimbursement for York anyhow."     


Update on the Sun/NetApp ZFS patent litigation

,----[ Quote ]
| I received this update from Sun Microsystems on Tuesday on the ongoing ZFS 
| patent litigation with NetApp. While colored by its source, the news seems 
| positive for Sun (and, given the importance of ZFS, for the open-source 
| development community). Sun has succeeded in getting the venue changed to 
| California and it appears that its public request for examples of prior art 
| have yielded fruit.     



Sun plans to countersue NetApp

,----[ Quote ]
| Consequently, "Later this week, we're going to use our defensive portfolio to 
| respond to Network Appliance, filing a comprehensive reciprocal suit. As a 
| part of this suit, we are requesting a permanent injunction to remove all of 
| their filer products from the marketplace, and are examining the original NFS 
| license--on which Network Appliance was started," Schwartz said.    


ZFS Puts Net App Viability at Risk?


NetApp/Sun lawsuit seen as open-source test case

,----[ Quote ]
| NetApp contends that Sun's ZFS file system technology, which was donated to 
| the OpenSolaris.org open-source community earlier this year, infringes on 
| seven NetApp patents.  


Sun calls NetApp's blog bluff...with open source...in a blog

,----[ Quote ]
| I know nothing about the validity of either side's patent claims. Only a 
| judge (or, more likely, a settlement) will elucidate either claim. But I have 
| watched Microsoft respond to open source with patent FUD, and I'm willing to 
| believe that others will fight back in this same way. I don't know that 
| NetApp is--Hitz argues pretty persuasively that there were other reasons 
| involved--but I do believe that any company that relies on an old way of 
| selling its software needs to respond to the open-source threat.      
| Patent suits are one way to do that. An ugly, and ultimately futile way, but 
| a way nonetheless. 


NetApp + Sun = legal havoc

,----[ Quote ]
| Now, this is enough to me. I don't fucking care who is infringing whose 
| patents. It's more and more clear that patents (all kind of patents!) don't 
| do anything to the benefit of the public. They're not good for the humanity 
| at large, but only to lawyers.   
| And when you see how two major IT actors are trying to make money from 
| lawsuits instead of making profit from the technologies they're supposed to 
| develop, you have all the rights in the world to think that the current 
| Establishment is broken.   
| Because it is broken. You can see it every day with U.S.-based companies. 


A few thoughts on Sun and NetApp

,----[ Quote ]
| According to Raven Zachary at the451 Group, “Hitz told me that this case is 
| about NetApp and Sun, not the open source community that has emerged around 
| ZFS, and NetApp does not intend to go after the ZFS community.”  
| Until it does so (if it ever does so), to paint its legal claims as an attack 
| on open source seems to be to be unfair. 


Sun's Chief Open Source Officer Talks Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| The open-source community is very vocal about software patents.
| Sun owns lots of them. Isn't that a contradiction for Sun to
| claim to be an open-source community member yet own software patents?
| Not at all. Most companies engaging in free and open-source
| software hold software patents?even Red Hat. If you neglect
| patent filing, you risk various perils including others filing
| for patents on the same ideas and being unable to trade
| portfolios when an aggressor comes calling. What matters is
| not whether you hold them but what you do with them. 


Jonathan Schwartz on the future of Sun

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| After just over a year as chief executive, Jonathan Schwartz is
| moving into a new phase as the leader of Sun Microsystems.

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