Novell Becomes a Patent Buster
Novell, perhaps paying penance for its embarrassing alliance with Microsoft, is to contribute “significant resources” to a campaign against spurious patents.
The company said yesterday it has teamed up with the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation to push for patent reform worldwide, and to seek out prior art that can invalidate restrictive patents.
"Under the current patent system, without a willingness by all companies to share their patents freely, software patents hobble open standards and interoperability, impede innovation and progress, threaten the development of free and open source software, and have a chilling effect on software development,” said Nat Friedman, chief strategy and technology officer for open source at Novell.
The company said it and the EFF will pay particular attention to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the arm of the UN that seeks to harmonize respect for IP rights globally.
Novell will also back the EFF's “Patent Busting” initiative, launched three years ago as a means to have bogus US patents invalidated by seeking out evidence of prior art -- earlier inventions that preclude patentability.