In Malaysia, it is estimated that the number of companies opting for Linux-based solutions will experience about a 15% compounded average growth rate between now and 2012, said Daniel Ng, director of marketing for Red Hat Asia Pacific.
“Even now, there is a total of 936 implementations of open-source solutions in Malaysian Government agencies,” he said in a press briefing in Kuala Lumpur recently. Government support
Michael Tiemann, Red Hat’s vice-president of open-source affairs said Malaysia is one of the top countries that have implemented open-source solutions well.
He said the Malaysian government has taken open-source technology seriously by setting up the Open-Source Competency Centre, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Administration and Modernisation Planning Unit Mampu.
“There are individuals taking responsibility for specific initiatives in the open-source circle and the initiatives are strengthened with strong promotion by the Government and the players in this sector,” he said at a press briefing after a meeting with Government officials in Kuala Lumpur.
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On Tuesday a consortium of technology companies, including IBM IBM, will launch a new initiative designed to help shield the open-source software community from threats posed by companies or individuals holding dubious software patents and seeking payment for alleged infringements by open-source software products.
The most novel feature of the new program, to be known as Linux Defenders, will be its call to independent open-source software developers all over the world to start submitting their new software inventions to Linux Defenders Web site due to be operational Tuesday so that the group’s attorneys and engineers can, for no charge, help shape, structure, and document the invention in the form of a “defensive publication.”
Linux Defenders will then also see to it that the publication, duly attributing authorship of the invention to the developer who submitted it, is filed on the IP.com Web site, a database used by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other patent examiners throughout the world when they are trying to determine whether a proposed patent is truly novel, as any patentable invention is supposed to be.
In effect, the defensive-publications initiative mounts a preemptive attack upon those who would try to patent purported software inventions that are not truly novel — i.e., innovations that are already known and in use, though no one may have ever previously bothered to document them, let alone obtain a patent on them, a process usually requiring the hiring of attorneys as well as payment of significant filing fees.
“The idea is to create a defensive patent shield or no-fly zone around Linux,” says Keith Bergelt, the chief executive officer of Open Invention Network, the consortium launching the site. The core members of that group, formed in 2005, are IBM, NEC, Novell NOVL, Philips, Red Hat RHT and Sony.