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Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation 425

Penguinisto writes "According to a somewhat jaw-dropping story in The Register, it appears that Microsoft has performed a trifecta of geek-scaring feats: They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platinum member(at $100K USD a year), submitted LGPL-licensed patches for ADOdb, and have pledged to expand their Open Specifications Promise by adding to the list more than 100 protocols for interoperability between its Windows Server and the Windows client. While I sincerely doubt they'll release Vista under a GPL license anytime soon, this is certainly an unexpected series of moves on their part, and could possibly lead to more OSS (as opposed to 'Shared Source') interactivity between what is arguably Linux' greatest adversary and the Open Source community." (We mentioned the announced support for the Apache Foundation earlier today, as well.)

Community Patent Review Project Announced 62

PatPending writes "American companies General Electric, IBM, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard have joined with the New York Law School and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to inaugarate a new system of peer review for software patents. The four companies, plus Red Hat, the world's biggest listed open source software business, are the lead sponsors behind the Community Patent Review project. The one-year pilot program will begin in early 2007 and focus on published but not-yet-granted patent applications relating to computer software. Scientists and engineers will be able to submit prior art to patent examiners at the USPTO using an online system. All Community Patent review project documents will be available on the internet for public comment. 'High-quality patents increase certainty around intellectual property rights, reducing contention and freeing resources to focus on innovation,' said David Kappos, vice president of IP law at IBM."

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