What value in the Red Hat patent guarantee?

What value in the Red Hat patent guarantee?

Summary: Red Hat still faces a lawsuit brought by IP Innovation, which Linux Watch has called a patent troll, and Microsoft is still sitting at the table, fingering its ginormous stack of chips and smiling its Mona Lisa smile.

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TOPICS: Linux, Legal, Open Source
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Pair of 3s from Toppoker.com.au in AustraliaThis whole game of Linux patent claims has always reminded me of how some poker players will throw a stack of chips on the table while holding a pair of 3s and others will fold in the face of it.

It works best if the bluffer's stack of chips is high. (Picture from Toppoker.com.au of Australia.)

It's not about right and wrong. It's about big and small. And in the grand scheme of things Red Hat isn't that big. Which is why its patent promise doesn't give me warm fuzzy feelings.

Granted, Red Hat's lawyers are to be commended for playing hardball against FireStar Software,  which bills itself as a solutions provider and DataTern, last seen filing patent suits claiming it controls e-commerce.

The suit in question was filed in 2006 in the Eastern District of Texas at Tyler against JBOSS. The suit was settled soon after arguments were heard, and in the settlement the plaintiffs promised not to go after Red Hat's downstream or upstream partners.

While the claims in these suits, and other claims by DataTern against Red Hat, do indeed seem to be put to rest by the settlements, however, it only puts this patent issue to rest -- not the patent issue to rest.

Red Hat still faces a lawsuit brought by IP Innovation, which Linux Watch has called a patent troll, and Microsoft is still sitting at the table, fingering its ginormous stack of chips and smiling its Mona Lisa smile.

If it sees a better hand, will it pounce? How much money will it lay out? And what will Red Hat's lawyers do then?

Topics: Linux, Legal, Open Source

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