As everyone has been saying, there’s something deeply wrong with software patents. The latest news has Trend Micro taking up a lawsuit against Barracuda Networks, a mail and security vendor. The claim here is that ClamAV, an open source antivirus program which they use, does gateway antivirus filtering, something which Trend holds a patent in.
This is not the first time open source software has been a target of companies in lawsuits. Remember when SCO sued IBM over Linux? Well, obviously not only did SCO lose, it went bankrupt. But that was a particularly obnoxious lawsuit, and it was not over a software patent which this one is.
Personally, I believe software should be protected by copyright laws only, and not software patents as well. It’s ridiculous that someone can patent a general idea of how to do things. There are only so many ways one can do a particular thing. And to patent protection of FTP and SMTP gateways? That’s ridiculous. There really should be a law against predatory patent infringement lawsuits like this.