Novell, Red Hat Win Joint Patent Battle

Back in 2007, an outfit called IP Innovation LLC filed a patent infringement lawsuit, claiming that Linux vendors were infringing on patents it owns—including U.S. patent 5,072,412 covering “User interface with multiple workspaces for sharing display system objects.” Now, a Texas jury has ruled in favor of Red Hat and Novell, finding the patents at the center of the suit was invalid because of extensive prior art.

novell red hat win joint patent battle and logos

The case is notable not so much because the patent was defeated, but because Linux vendors who are serious rivals in the marketplace joined forces to fight the case. The victory is being hailed by the open source community as a major win—and yet more evidence that Linux can stand up to patent challenges. Red Hat and Novell were represented by the same legal team—surprising because Novell and Red Hat in many ways represent opposite ends of the open source community. For instance, Novell has entered into a broad patent agreement with Microsoft to protect its customers from any patent litigation Microsoft might bring against Linux. Red Hat has never made that kind of deal—and it’s been about four years since Novell signed on the dotted line and Microosft has yet to mount a direct patent challenge to Linux.

“This is the result we expected and we are gratified that the jury recognized the tremendous innovative value of open source software,” said Red Hat executive FP Michael Cunningham, in a statement. “The jury knocked out three invalid patents that were masquerading as new and important inventions, when they were not.”

The IP Innovation patents go all the way back to 1991—but IP Innovation didn’t come up with them on their own, instead buying them from Xerox. Red Hat and Novell were able to demonstrate substantial prior art that preceded Xerox’s original patent filings: one of the requirements for patent protection is that the application must describe a new method or process that did not previously exist.

“We are very pleased that the jury reached a verdict in favor of Linux and of open source,” said Novell’s VP for legal affairs Jim Lundberg, in a statement. “We hope this verdict sends a strong and unequivocal message to others that Novell and the open source community will vigorously defend any unsupported attacks on Linux and on open source innovation. ”

Product Review

The Digital Storm Aventum X is an unstoppable gaming PC. Trust us, we tried

Packed with dual-Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and a 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, the Aventum X is an infinitely upgradeable gaming PC that’s capable of far more performance than you’ll ever need.

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Work and play anywhere with these portable, large-screen monitors

Via a recent and successful Kickstarter campaign by Unick, a new line of portable, large-screen monitors has been announced. The Gemini Taihe line of monitors offers two models: the Gemini FHD and the Gemini UHD.

It took Dell years to fix 1 problem on its best laptop. Here’s how it did it

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

Ditch the backdrop from your photos with these handy tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Here's how, whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence.

Think someone's leeching off your Wi-Fi connection? Here's how to find out

It's important to find out immediately if anyone is stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi using a few simple tools, along with some suggestions on improving security.

Open RAR files with the greatest of ease using these awesome applications

Few things are more bothersome than not being able to open a file when you need it most. Check out our quick guide about how to open RAR files in Windows and MacOS. We will walk you through the process, step by step.

‘Flexgate’ is the latest controversy plaguing some MacBook Pro owners

iFixit recently uncovered a new "Flexgate" issue with MacBook Pros after some consumers reported a "stage light" effect, where the backlighting on the device would fail and cause the bottom of the display to become slightly distorted.

Google Chrome’s latest decision could prevent most ad-blockers from functioning

Google Chrome's newest change is cited as a step forward for speed and security, but could profoundly alter how the majority of ad-blocking extensions operate. The move potentially gives Google more control over which ads can be blocked.

Samsung permits peek at an eye-popping, 15-inch 4K OLED laptop display

Samsung is now preparing for the new OLED laptop trend and is providing a look at an eye-popping 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel that is expected to power larger premium laptops in the new year.