Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Red Hat settlement: how much does it protect open source community?

Red Hat has settled with DataTern and Amphion Innovations PLC.

The post on cnet read:

Unlike other patent deals (Read: Every single one that Microsoft has signed), which try to create a walled garden of protection for the signing parties, Red Hat opted to go much broader:

"Typically when a company settles a patent lawsuit, it focuses on getting safety for itself," said Rob Tiller, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, IP [Red Hat]. "But that was not enough for us, we wanted broad provisions that covered our customers, who place trust in us, and the open source community, whose considerable efforts benefit our business."

Following the link, one finds:

What is the significance of the settlement?
Like most settlements, this one ends the specific lawsuit between the parties, but it does much more than that. It assures that upstream developers are protected against patent suits by DataTern and Amphion with respect to projects incorporated into Red Hat products. In addition, our distributors, customers, and anyone else who uses Red Hat products are protected with respect to Red Hat products. This broad coverage is a significant benefit to the open source community.

What products are covered?
All products distributed under a Red Hat brand are covered, as well as upstream predecessor versions of those products. In addition, derivative works of or combination products using covered products are protected from any patent claim based in any respect on the covered products.

***See also


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