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Inside the software patents debate: some good news for open source developers

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Several high-profile court fights, such as the SCO Group's pursuit of IBM regarding disputed Unix copyrights, have made software patents a top debate topic in the open source community. Open source companies have had to address fears raised by detractors who argue that a developer could inadvertently use a piece of open source code protected by a third-party patent, exposing his or her company and customers to intellectual property suits. For open source developers and customers seeking advice as they navigate the complicated waters of intellectual property law, more information is now available. SCO's chances of a lawsuit victory appear to be decreasing. IBM and Sun are sharing patents with the open source community, a move designed to spur innovation and offer protection.

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

May-June 2005

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