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Red Hat joins charge to fend off patent madness

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Linux

A group of US companies including Red Hat, Yahoo, eBay, Electronic Arts, General Motors and HP, have joined together to challenge a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which threatens to seriously exacerbate problems in the already highly controversial software patent system within the United States.

The group has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking correction of the standard for inducing patent infringement, relating to the case of Global-Tech Appliances, Inc v. SEB S.A. Under the existing ruling, the Court of Appeals held that organisations and individuals can be held liable and prosecuted for infringing patents of which they have no knowledge. It used a standard of “deliberate indifference,” which it then equated to negligence.

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