Feeds

Red Hat pitches software-patents-free Europe

Hopes to flip court system

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Red Hat is today expected to join others in making the case against the enforcement of patents in software across the European Union.

The company is expected to submit an 11-page report to regulators, which makes the case that patents in software damages innovation in software.

If the principles in Red Hat's report are accepted, it could fundamentally tilt the balance in Europe against those using the law to enforce software patents and trying to exact payment for alleged infringements of patents through the court system.

Red Hat is expected to deliver its report to the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office, which is listening to arguments on whether patents in software should be enforced and upheld in EU-member country courts and regulatory bodies. Today is the deadline for report submissions.

The board is expected to receive a similar report from patents hit factory IBM, while it has already received reports from consumer electronics giant Philips and a number of academics.

Rob Tiller, Red Hat's vice president and assistant general counsel, told The Register that rulings in a number of European courts involving patents in software suggest software patents are being applied more broadly in Europe.

The task of the patent office board is to decide how to interpret the existing law in Europe and whether this should favour or go against enforcement of patents in software.

"As far as the European situation goes...it seems in some cases software patents have been granted more broadly in cases, but statutory language is contrary," Tiller said. "We suggest both for reasons of statue and sound policy that courts should go in a different direction."

Tiller called the issue of patents in software - and their enforcement through law - a "real concern" to Red Hat.

The company has backed the submission with a peer review of three FAT patents claimed by Microsoft in its recently settled US legal dispute with GPS device maker TomTom. The review is designed to uncover the existence of prior art that would potentially invalidate the three patents. Red Hat hopes prior art would lead to a formal review of the three patents and prevent Microsoft using these patents against other companies like TomTom.

"The fact the TomTom law suit was dropped by Microsoft doesn't mean there couldn't be another similar suit," Tiller said. "Since the patents were asserted against Linux on one occasion there's a concern it could happen again. We want to avoid this." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us
And Commish is VERY pro-Google. Why should we worry?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.