Uncle Dave used to be a programmer many moons ago. Why would I (or anyone) want to be one today writing commercial or even (as this article points out) open source code? Hard to write new programs when every other line might be copyrighted by someone more interested in making money in the courts (cough SCO cough) than via writing better software. Another reason the US is headed toward being second rate in technology.
We’ve warned you for a decade. Now the monster has finally arrived: attacks against Open Source developers by patent holders, big and small. One is a lawsuit against Red Hat for the use of the principle of Object Relational Mapping used in Hibernate, a popular component of enterprise Java applications everywhere. The other attack is on an individual Open Source developer for his model railroad software.
These two attacks are the tip of the iceberg, thousands more are possible as software patent holders turn to enforcement as an income producer and away from the patent cross-licensing détente exercised by large companies until the mid-1990s. Open Source will not be the only victim: small and medium-sized companies make up 80% of our economy and any of those companies that develops software, either proprietary or Open Source, will be vulnerable. The American IP Law Association estimates that defense against a single software patent lawsuit will cost between 2 and 5 million dollars. Under US law, even a company that only uses software can be sued.
[...]the real solution is to go back to the original intent of the Patent Office and stop granting patents on software.