Architected to eliminate poor quality patents and ensure that only high quality patents issue, the Linux Defenders program enables individuals and organizations to efficiently contribute to:
1. “Defensive Publications” that codify ‘known’ inventions that have not previously been patented so that they can be brought to the attention of the patent office to ensure that later developed patent applications claiming such inventions do not issue. In general, defensive publications are a vehicle which allows the Linux and broader open source community to create valuable prior art that enables Linux and freedom of action/freedom to operate for those active in utilizing Linux to drive innovation in products, services, and applications;
2. “Peer to Patent” which solicits prior art contributions from the Linux and broader open source community to ensure patent examiners are aware of prior art relevant to published applications that are currently under review. In this way, the patent office is alerted to relevant prior art and only the most innovative and novel ideas are actually patented.
3. “Post-Issue Peer to Patent” which solicits prior art contribution from Linux and the broader open source community to permit the invalidation of previously issued patents that were issued in error because of the patent office’s lack of awareness of relevant prior art.
Use of Linux Defenders is free of charge to contributors and the hosting of Defensive Publications on databases accessible by patent and trademark office examiners around the world is borne by the program’s sponsors.
via Linux Defenders.
In its second major open source story in a week, the BBC looks at the questions surrounding open source adoption in the UK’s schools and universities. A good portion of the article is spent on the notion that open source software doesn’t really save money because there are (re)training and migration costs associated with any new technology.
For once, it seems like a mainstream reporter asked a good follow up question.
Another issue frequently raised is that of technology lock-in, one of the biggest arguments used by open source advocates as to why Windows is still prevalent.
“Something that isn’t always taken into account when calculating software procurement costs, is the ongoing costs costs arising from licensing or technology lock-in,” said Mr Gavigan
Mr Gavigan felt that the free nature of open source software sometimes worked against it.
“Announcing you have spent amazing sums of money trying to tackle a problem has more impact with your audience than saying you have used a free solution. There is an unfortunate myth that if it doesn’t cost anything, it isn’t worth anything” he said.