How You Can Help Patent Attorneys Help Free Software

I would like everyone to watch tridge’s talk [.ogv] [mp3] on patents and how engineers can interact efficiently with patent lawyers, to get your knowledge across to them. More formats are linked from End Software Patents, if you prefer audio only.

Focus, please, also on what he’s learned about patents, how to invalidate them in various ways, especially the part about proving non-infringement and why that is easier than proving prior art, and then the part about finding a workaround and then publicizing it. He shows how to read a patent filing document. You guys have been effective already in the past in finding prior art, but he is raising the bar with more techniques.

I see some of you are already posting what you believe to be prior art on the Oracle America patents being used against Google, and we might as well do it as well as we can once we are sure Oracle is going to go forward full steam ahead, but there are other arrows to add to our quiver. I’m waiting to see if there is a settlement of some kind, but when I am sure it’s going forward, I’ll tell you. Patent infringement cases go on for years, usually, so there’s time to hope for progress. Larry Ellison is giving a talk at JavaOne September 20 in San Francisco on “Oracle’s vision and strategy” for Java. As James Gosling points out, there is still a way to fulfill the 2007 Java pledge by setting up an independent Java foundation, and there are other steps Oracle can still take. In spite of all that is happening, one thing I am clear on. Oracle is not SCO. Oracle is Oracle. Sui generis.

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