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Comment legislation from the bench (Score 2, Interesting) 107

"While I despise software patents just like most of slashdot, I hate seeing the solution being legislation from the bench."

Software patents were created by legislation from the bench. Probably the broadest extensions of software patent case law were done by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to which Red Hat is presenting their brief. So Red Hat's approach is practical in the sense that that they have the opportunity to present our case to a body that is capable of deciding the issue in our favor.

It would be better if we could get a law passed by Congress abolishing software patents because the Congressional law would take precedence over case law. The courts could no longer decide that the current laws, while not mentioning software patents, logically imply that software patents are legal.

I have lobbied Congress to abolish software patents and got nowhere. I came to the conclusion that to be successful we would have to hire a professional lobbyist and join the fight in the Judiciary Subcommittees' hearing rooms along with all the other lobbyists fighting over the patent reform issue. I think that Red Hat spending the money to jump on this opportunity to possibly abolish or curtail software patents is money well spent. It is probably cheaper and certainly faster than spending money on Congressional lobbying and the opportunity is immediate.

Steve Stites


Submission + - The Linux Foundation Borrows Novell's Linux CTO (

Steve Stites writes: "Markus Rex, who is chief technology officer for the Open Platform Solutions Group at Novell and who was one of the cornerstone executives named to the Linux Foundation board of directors back in April, is going to take a hiatus from Novell and work as CTO for the Linux Foundation."


Markus Rex's principle task during his 18 month assignment at the Linux Foundation will be to lead the development work on the Linux Standards Base. Will Markus Rex favor open standards or will he favor Microsoft's interoperability standards?

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