[clug] FOSS patent infringements

Mike Carden mike.carden at gmail.com
Wed May 16 02:23:06 GMT 2007

> They say, "Hah, you're using 250 of my patents but I'm not telling you
> which ones" but you reply, "Hah, you're using 500 of my patents but I'm
> not telling you which ones".

According to Sun's Simon Phipps, that's meant to be the reason that
Sun continues to accumulate patents and purposely does so as fast as
possible. Speaking at Open CeBIT, Simon explained that Sun see their
patent portfolio as a necessary weapon in the patent 'arms race' but
that they would rather see patent law reformed such that it's no
longer a necessity.

Simon also spoke a bit about Sun's desire to exempt anyone working
within open source communities to which Sun contributes, from having
to be concerned about Sun's patents.

I want to believe him, but to me it sounds a lot like another
company's Covenant Not To Sue and I don't trust that at all. I don't
understand why it's necessary to say "Do it and I promise not to sue
you" instead of "You're free to do as you wish."

It's all a bit disturbing.


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