Red Hat is a software company which lobbies against software patents.
Lobbying against software patents
USA: Bilski submissions
- Red Hat's 2009 brief to the Supreme Court for Bilski v. Kappos
- Red Hat's 2008 brief to the CAFC for in re Bilski
EU anti-swpat lobbying
Anti-swpat lobbying in India
By Red Hat
No known cases. (And no reason to think there have been any.)
Against Red Hat
- Software Tree LLC (Acacia) v. Red Hat (2009, USA) - settled out of court (controversially)
- Acacia v. Red Hat and Novell (2010, USA) - patents ruled invalid (Acacia operated as IP Innovation LLC)
Open Source Assurance program
The terms of program include the following (i) replacing the infringing portion of the software, (ii) modifying the software so that its use becomes non-infringing, or (iii) obtaining the rights necessary for a customer to continue its use of the software. In addition, Red Hat will defend a customer (i.e., hire and pay for a lawyer) in the event of an intellectual property lawsuit and will pay damages that result from a judgment or settlement against the customer.
SOAP patent controversy
Despite lobbying against software patents, Red Hat raised some concerns in 2009 when it applied for software patents related to the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Red Hat offers a non-aggression patent promise, but this promise is indeed a "promise", not a licence, and it's not irrevocable. Thus, if Red Hat had a change of management or was bought out, these patents could be used aggressively. The existence of the promise would only provide an equitable defence.
The promise is also limited to only protecting the free software community.
While Red Hat previously owned software patents, these were just incidentally acquired when Red Hat bought other companies. The SOAP patent was worrying because it was the first sign of intent/desire to hold patents in its area of activity without granting a general licence. Some companies apply for patents to build up a portfolio for defensive purposes. If this was Red Hat's intention, they could have granted a general licence stating that these patents would only be used defensively, i.e. against patent holders who had attacked Red Hat or its partners.
- Slashdot: Red Hat Patenting Around Open Standards
- H-online: The Red Hat Patent Problem and AMQP
- DigtalMajority: Red Hat patents SOAP processing over CGI
- DigitalMajority: Did Red Hat lobby for, or against software patents in Europe?
- BoycottNovell: Red Hat, Microsoft, EU Lobbyists, and Software Patents
- FFII reaction to software patents/Red Hat controversy
- Bricolage - a project which may contain prior art to RH's SOAP patent
Related pages on en.swpat.org
- Open Invention Network - of which Red Hat is a member
- Free software - Red Hat's main area of business
- Software Tree v. Red Hat (2009, USA)
- Red Hat on Patents (VIDEO), Nov 2009
- Red Hat Files its Bilski Brief: Asks Supreme Ct. to Exclude Software From Patentability, 1 Oct 2009, Groklaw
- Red Hat to submit 11-page case against software patents to European regulators, 31 Apr 2009, The Register' - anyone know what happened of this?
- Red Hat Makes its Position Patent, 5 May 2009, Glyn Moody - regarding the EPO EBA referral G3-08
- Red Hat Makes History With Patent Settlement - Compatible with GPLv3, 11 June 2008, Groklaw
- Red Hat pitches software-patents-free Europe, 30 Apr 2009, The Register - about their brief for the EPO EBA referral G3-08
- "Red Hat Puts Patent Issue to Rest", 2008, Red Hat
- Red Hat settles patent case with Acacia - shares few details, 4 Oct 2010, internetnews.com
- Red Hat's patent settlement with Firestar
Related to Fedora
Fedora is a partly independent project with large involvement from Red Hat.
- I know this from personal contact with him in the parliament, but we should find a citation for it.
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