Recently, Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO), announced he expected companies that sue Microsoft for patent infringement might come after open source companies in the future as well. Initially, we all though 'FUD!'. After all, the SCO case is essentially over and 'we' won.
However sinister things are happening as we speak. A company called IP Innovation LLC has filed patent infringement claims against Red Hat and Novell, two of the world's leading Linux companies. Even though we are probably talking about a bogus patent claim, there are some things to aware of here.
First of all, two of the executives of IP Innovation's parent company only just joined the company. The two execs have less than half a year between them in time as employee at IP Innovation's mother: Acacia Technologies. One of those execs used to be an Intelectual Property Licensing buff in his previous job. Guess where.
Now count this up:
- The SCO case is almost over
- Ballmer starts mumbling about patent claims against Linux, by Microsoft itself and by third parties
- As if ordered to do so, some company files patent suits against Red Hat and Novell
- Two of the executives of the company owning the plaintiff only recently transfered in from Microsoft
- At least one of them used to be concered with intelectual property licensing with his previous (?) master