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FOSS Community Can Combat Bad Patents 58

An anonymous reader lets us know about a new initiative designed to help shield the open source software community from threats posed by patent trolls. The initiative, called Linux Defenders (the website is slated to go live tomorrow, Dec. 9), is sponsored by a consortium of technology companies including IBM. "The most novel feature of the new program... will be its call to independent open source software developers all over the world to start submitting their new software inventions to Linux Defenders... so that the group's attorneys and engineers can, for no charge, help shape, structure, and document the invention in the form of a 'defensive publication.' Linux Defenders will then also see to it that the publication, duly attributing authorship of the invention to the developer who submitted it, is filed on the Web site, a database used by the US Patent and Trademark Office and other patent examiners throughout the world when they are trying to determine whether a proposed patent is truly novel..."

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