by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 12th 2007 2:12pm
Jon writes in to let us know that a small patent holding firm, IP Innovation, has sued Red Hat and Novell over patent infringement concerning a ridiculously broad patent. As the Groklaw report outlines, the suing company is actually a subsidiary of Acacia, which is considered to be one of the more egregious firms in using bad patents to squeeze money out of companies. Groklaw also notes that Acacia has recently hired a bunch of execs from Microsoft, leading to the conspiracy theory that Steve Ballmer's recent predictions of patent lawsuits against Red Hat were more than random speculation. I'm not willing to go that far just yet, but as you can see from Ars Technica's breakdown of the patent earlier this year (when the company sued Apple), it describes very broadly the concept of workspaces in a computer user interface. This is yet another example of the worst of our patent system at work. Companies that offer innovative products getting sued using vague, overly broad patents on obvious ideas that never should have been granted in the first place.
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