Linux Patent Suit: Don't Miss the Forest for the Trees

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Not surprisingly, the tech press is all over the patent infringement suit that IP Innovation filed last week against Red Hat and Novell. News.com's Matt Asay is among the conspiracy theorists. The 451 Group's Matthew Aslett implies an analogy to "War of the Worlds" with the opening words of his post on the subject. Here at IT Business Edge, editor in chief Kachina Dunn and analyst Rob Enderle each added their two cents' worth to go along with my previous post.)


ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn, however, says the real issues are lost in all the fuss about the case. We won't have a solution to the software patent problem, he says, until three primary questions are answered:

These basic questions need to be asked, and answered, before a rational software patent regime could ever emerge:


* Can patents protect an idea, or just the way that idea is implemented? * How can patent law enable innovation for systems that do hundreds of things at once? * Why can't software just enjoy the protection of copyright, which protects the code itself and lasts for 100 years?


None of these questions is being asked, let alone answered, either through the law or the fight over the law. It is past time for the entire tech industry to demand they be answered, for all time...

Makes sense to me. And I also think the Linux Foundation is right on the money when it says:

This case will aid those of us who are advocating the cause of patent reform by demonstrating the wasteful drain that the current process imposes on innovative activities.