Software Freedom Law Center Comes to Microsofts Aid

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-12-15 Print this article Print

The leading free software legal group is coming to Microsoft's support in a patent case. Here's why. (Linux-Watch)

If you thought Novell partnering up with Microsoft was shocking news, then you probably dont want to read the rest of this story. Just remember, we warned you. The (SFLC) Software Freedom Law Center, a nonprofit organization that provides pro-bono legal services to protect and advance open-source software, filed a brief Dec. 15 with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Microsofts appeal of a software patent decision. Yes, Microsoft.
Click here to read more about the "patent collaboration agreement" between Microsoft and Novell.
In the case of "Microsoft v. AT&T," the SFLC is asking the Supreme Court to decide against U.S. patents applying to software that is copied and distributed overseas. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a specialized patent court known for allowing patents on software and business methods, originally decided in favor of AT&T. In that decision, the court said that U.S. software patents applied even if the violations happened outside the U.S. Microsoft appealed the decision and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. The SFLC explains in its brief that its unlikely championing of Microsofts cause in this case is because the "SFLC has an interest in this matter because the decision of this Court will have a significant effect on the rights of the Free and Open Source Software developers and users." Read the full story on Linux-Watch: Software Freedom Law Center Comes to Microsofts Aid Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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