We're used to patent trolls being shifty little bozo operations like Acacia Research that serve no useful purpose beyond proving that some life forms never evolve. Sometimes, however, patent trolls come in larger sizes and have otherwise legitimate businesses. Such is the case today with Trend Micro's apparently specious lawsuit against Barracuda Networks and, indeed, the entire open-source community.
As Justin Mason, vice president of the Apache Software Foundation, notes:Trend Micro's actions are clearly an attack on free and open-source software and its users, as well as on Barracuda Networks. The '600 patent covers a trivial method, one which was obvious to anyone skilled in the art at the time (the patent was written), and should be rendered invalid as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, our patent system only makes sense on paper. Once it hits the courts, all bets are off. This is why repudiating silly claims like Trend Micro's is so important, and why a collective response is critical.
Here's what happened in a nutshell:… Read more