CyberTech Rambler

April 29, 2009

Revenge or public interest?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 12:17 pm

After Microsoft sued TomTom and named some FAT patents on the lawsuit, it will be silly to say that they are not expecting slashback. So here it comes, OIN launch a campaign to examine the patents involved.

There are a few ways to see this and I haven’t made up my mind yet. First will be revenge. The theory goes that MS had fired at FOSS, so now we must seek revenge by at the minimum, give them some trouble even if we cannot overturn the patents.

Second, it is defence. There is a chance that MS, if it haven’t been doing that already, use the publicity as as a showcase that “FOSS violates its patents” and “There is a way around GPL to satisfy your ‘license’ obligation to MS”. Therefore, by campaigning to examine the patents involved, you blunted that edge at least, and defend against yourself.

Third. If you subscribe to the view that there is nothing in the FAT patents that is worth protecting in the sense of the law, OIN is simply seeking justice, i.e., to right what’s wronged. In this scenario, you are the victim and should see justice against your aggressor, MS.

Finally, and this is  the view I sincerely hope anyone who participate in the campaign aims for, is this campaign is about clarifying the FAT patents for the public good. Those patents, in its current stance, make the water murky for those who dare to thread it. I can see the public good in determining, not once and for all as it will take a court decision, but with strong certainty, whether the patents are valid or not.

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