Software patents are a serious problem for open source developers according to Linus Torvalds and other open source superstars, despite IBM’s legally binding pledge not to enforce 500 software patents against OSS companies. This should not surprise anybody. With almost every single obvious element of software already patented in the United States, the only thing stopping a large-scale patent war is the fact that Novell and IBM own a good number of patents, and there may be fear that any action against open source would induce Big Blue’s rage.


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