A couple weeks ago we received an email inviting us to join the OIN. This was a no-brainer for us.
The OIN is basically a software patent non-aggression pact - its members pledge never to use patents aggressively against other participants in the Linux / open source ecosystem. That’s an easy pledge for Symas to make.
Symas’ official position is that software patents are all categorically invalid. As intellectual property, software is already automatically protected by copyright law. There is no valid reason for software to gain additional protection under patent law, and anyone who claims otherwise needs to go back to law school.
The other important issue here is that intellectual property laws exist for the express purpose “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” And yet, patents are used almost universally (not just software patents) as a weapon for discouraging and retarding innovation, not to promote it. As long as this perversion of purpose persists, Symas will always stand against patent abusers. Symas invites all other software professionals to take a stand against patent abuse. Join the Open Invention Network…