LINUX VENDOR Red Hat, the open source stalwart, wants to improve the US patent system so that it and other firms can challenge poor quality software patents.
The company joined a host of others in the industry in sending an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court. In the brief the firms explain that the burden of proof required to invalidate bogus software patents holds back innovation and needs changing.
The Amicus Brief (pdf) was filed in the case Microsoft v. i4i Limited Partnership, and Red Hat joined with firms including Google, Verison, Comcast, Dell, Hewlett Packard,. Mastercard and Time Warner, each of which is likely to have their own reasons for arguing that software patents are out of control.
At issue is the fact that it is up to defendants in patent lawsuits to prove that another firm has been granted a ridiculous patent. According to the complainants, the current system favours the holders of dodgy patents.
Perhaps sensing that all this talk about burdens of proof might confuse people, Red Hat threw one of its legal team in to explain in its statement.
"Burdens of proof sound technical, but they make an enormous practical difference in how lawsuits come out," said Rob Tiller, an assistant general counsel at Red Hat.
"As things now stand, the clear-and-convincing burden prevents invalidation of lots of patents that should never have been granted. A decision from the Court which corrects that would be great for software innovation." µ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday
Slack attack whacked
Power glitch is thought to be hardware-related