The 4th annual Palamida user group (PUG) took place last week here in San Francisco. Thanks to all who participated. Highlights included the annual “What’s up” session with our founder & VP of Professional Services, Jeff Luszcz, and Steve Gillespie from Fenwick & West, LLP, the best practices panel with terrific Q/A between attendees and a selection of Palamida customers representing both legal and technical perspectives, and preview demos of new products and features.
Red Hat fired back at a patent challenge using their contributions to open source as the basis for their suit. It’s a novel approach for commercial companies who have made some of their software open source, but still own the copyright. In this case, Red Hat charges that some of their software released under a GPL2 license was included in the proprietary software from Twin Peaks Software, a company which has launched a patent infringement case against Redhat.
The US patent system is finally close to a major revision. The key provision is a change from ‘first to invent’ to ‘first to file’. It makes complete sense since IP ownership can be clearly traced to a document with a date, which will greatly reduce the incentive to litigate to figure out who was first to invent. It’s a step in the right direction – although not exactly a breakthrough. The rest of the world uses this system already. This system clearly favors large firms with the resources and processes to file fast and file often – and will put small firms at a disadvantage.
Does Google want to be a smartphone company? Maybe not – but you couldn’t tell from the headline this morning. $12.5B to acquire Motorola Mobility. But wait – they lined up HTC, Samsung and other to say that they thought the idea was a good one. So its likely the real deal is the 16,000 patents in the Motorola portfolio ($781,000 each). Assuming the deal closes, which is probably not a slam dunk, the follow-on moves will be telling. Is it a war chest for coming IP fights, or will Google actually continue the phone hardware business?
In a case filed by the Software Freedom Conservancy the US District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an default judgment upholding the validity of the Busybox GPL license and ordering Westinghouse Digital to pay triple damages for copyright infringement and to cease distribution of the offending product. The full text of the decision is here .
We are attending the OSCON conference in Portland this week. Its been a couple of years since we did that and we are pleased to be back. If you are planning to attend, we would enjoy the opportunity to meet you – please find us in the exhibitor area.
Code search requires a special purpose search engine, and so we’re very pleased that Palamida has been granted a US patent for our algorithm for Massive Multi-Pattern Searching (No. 7,711,719).
It took seven years, but one of the biggest software IP cases in the past decade is apparently done (see this summary). It was this case that brought the whole issue of software IP and copyrights to the forefront of industry attention, and accelerated awareness and interest in our company. There is no need at this point to get into the merits of the case itself. Groklaw has been consistent and detailed in its coverage and opinions – so look there.