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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Evil Patent Things

Comments (6)

This one has all the trappings of a potential debacle.  Patent holding company targets Linux, files lawsuits against Red Hat and Novell

As some superhero once said, “there are evil forces at large in the world.”  Where is Super-No-Software-Patent-Man when we need him?

  • Marcelo Calbucci

    Doesn’t software patents expire after 17 years? Or something like that?

  • Qian Wang

    Marcelo, I believe that under the old law, patents expire 17 years from the date of being granted. So even though the patent’s priority date goes back to ’87, it may not have been granted until much later. And if there were continuations filed later on, they would share the priority date, but could still have years to go before they expire.

  • Steve Lacey

    I presume this is all about virtual desktops? If so the Rooms paper predates this by a year.

    Anyhow, the original assignee of the “claimed” infringed patent is Xerox – did they sell their patents?

  • Steve Lacey

    Hmmm. So looking at the paper, the authors were at Xerox at the time and the paper was published in August ’86 and the patent filed in March ’87 – less than a year from public disclosure.

    Ho hum.

  • Steve Zweig

    This patent will expire December 10, 2008, BUT the owners are almost certainly going after retroactive royalties — perhaps six years before now, and everything from now until 2008.

  • Manish

    Hey Brad,

    Thought you might enjoy this:

    Hope things are well,


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