Back in 2007, IP Innovation filed a lawsuit against Red Hat and Novell. IP Innovation is a subsidiary of Acacia Technologies. You may have heard of them — they’re reported to be the most litigious patent troll in the USA, meaning they produce nothing of value other than money from those whom they sue (or threaten to sue) over patent issues. They’re alleging infringement of patents on a user interface that has multiple workspaces.
I’m really proud that Red Hat’s Legal department has taken a page from the open source playbook — you know, the same one we follow in Fedora — in its fight against patent trolls. They’re enlisting community assistance to help in the defense by asking us to help identify this prior art. Red Hat has always backed up its rhetoric about open source development with decisive action, whether it’s opening up code,, promoting upstream development and sponsoring sustainable FOSS growth, or protecting customers and community members. And now they’re taking it a step further by inviting all of us to participate in the fight against ridiculous patent infringement lawsuits.