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Trend Micro Sues Barracuda Over Open Source Anti-Virus

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the troubled-waters dept.

Businesses 200

Anti-virus firm Trend Micro is suing Barracuda Networks over their use of the open source anti-virus product ClamAV. The issue is Trend Micro's patent on 'anti-virus detection on an SMTP or FTP gateway'. Companies like Symantec and McAfee are already paying licensing fees to Trend Micro. Groklaw carries the word from Barracuda that they intend to fight this case, and are seeking information on prior art to bring to trial. Commentary on the O'Reilly site notes (in strident terms) the strange reality of patents gone bad, while a post to the C|Net site explores the potential ramifications for open source security projects. "Barracuda has been able to leverage open source to bring down the cost of security. Early on Barracuda was blocking spam and viruses at roughly 1/10 the price of the nearest proprietary competitor (that was only selling an antivirus solution). Barracuda has helped to bring down prices across the board, and it has been able to do so because of open source. More open source equals less spam and more security. Trend Micro is effectively trying to raise the price of security." Slashdot and Linux.com are both owned by SourceForge.

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Yes (4, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220676)

Trend Micro is effectively trying to raise the price of security

Um, that's what the patent system is supposed to do - to make it worthwhile investing in inventing things! Whether this is a reasonable thing to patent is another question, but you can't really complain about the patent system doing what it is meant to do.

Re:Yes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22220766)

But but...promote the arts and sciences...progress...chilling effect...Ron Paul!

Not every Patent contains something novel. (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222158)

Sometimes all a patent holder dose is read PC Magazine, then translate an article or product review into legalese and file the result at the Patent Office.

Under the American system there is no penalty for filing a patent today on something as obvious and commonplace as 120 Volt AC Electricity. The only possible penalties you could suffer are 1. to have the Application rejected (see *) or 2. To have the patent thrown out when you attempt to defend it in court. The former is no punishment since it just puts you back where you started. The Latter only hurts if you overspend on lawyers. Clever Patent sharks make the legal team part owners.

* -: Many decades ago Albert Einstein worked in the Patent Office. Since he left the average IQ in that office has been declining by around 50% per year compounded. Which means that the current average is so close to zero, that employing a few heads of Cabbage would improve matters.

To make matters worse, those Patent officers are grossly overworked as the number of staff members has not kept pace with the increase in Applications. Even the US Embassy here in Kingston had enough sense to get more interviewers when the number of applicants increased.

Re:Yes (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220870)

Well, to be more accurate, what the patent system is supposed to do in a case like this is lower the net costs of security, and then reward the inventor by diverting some of the savings to him.

In theory it works like this. Your company is losing $10 million dollars a year because of lack of security. Fixing the problem would cost you $5 million. The inventor comes up with something that you would not have, that cuts the cost from $5 to $1, and he splits the savings with you. He walks of with $2M, you save $2M over doing it yourself of $8M over not doing anything.

It all breaks down when the patent system issues obvious patents of the form "apply well known technology X in common context Y." In that case, you (or somebody you hired) could solve the problem for $1M. The patent doesn't represent two million dollars of new savings, it represents a million dollars of new expenses.

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220904)

In short, you can't violate a patent in your head. You should not be able to violate a patent by typing. This is the simple dividing line between the good and bad patents I see scrolling across slashdot. We let Microsoft and other big American companies con Congress into this, and the rest of the world isn't dumb enough to go along. Sooner or later, we need to fix this... every year it hurts our competitiveness.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221508)

the rest of the world isn't dumb enough to go along

Well... MOST of the rest of the world [slashdot.org]

Re:Yes (3, Insightful)

eurleif (613257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221858)

You should not be able to violate a patent by typing.
What if I type out code to program a robotic arm to construct a patented physical object?

Re:Yes (3, Informative)

radarjd (931774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221282)

Well, to be more accurate, what the patent system is supposed to do in a case like this is lower the net costs of security, and then reward the inventor by diverting some of the savings to him.

That may be the economic theory, but I don't think it's necessarily the legal theory. Legally, the patent system is supposed to induce inventors to create new processes, materials, machines, etc. and to disclose their inventions so that they will eventually be owned by the public. Something often lost on the discussions on this site is that any patented invention will become public domain. In 20 years, potential patent holders will have to overcome this "land grab" of patents that we're currently experiencing. The broader the patents now granted, the more difficult they will be to overcome in the future.

I personally believe that the current problem with our system is that the patent office (due in large part to a decision by the Supreme Court) didn't grant software patents (in the form of business method or machine patents) earlier. Had the land grab happened thirty years ago, and the patent office learned to deal with it then, this all would have been worked out by now. The hobbyist software creator didn't exist in large part thirty years ago, and the fights would have been between large companies like IBM and its challengers.

The case referred to above was Gottschalk v Benson [wikipedia.org] 409 US 63 [findlaw.com] . The Court held that mathematical expressions could not be patented, and essentially found that all computer programs were mathematical expressions. The patent in question was for a bit shifter (converting decimal numbers into binary). IMO, we would be better off today had they simply found the patented material to be obvious, which is what many amici suggested.

Re:Yes (5, Funny)

rben (542324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221760)

>The hobbyist software creator didn't exist in large part thirty years ago

Damn, I just vanished in a puff of logic!

Re:Yes (1)

BadHaggis (1179673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221826)

> Damn, I just vanished in a puff of logic!

Mod +1 Funny, Man I wish I had mod points. Of course I vanished also.

Re:Yes (1)

radarjd (931774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221904)

The hobbyist software creator didn't exist in large part thirty years ago

Damn, I just vanished in a puff of logic!

Sorry about that, I try to make as few people as possible disappear. I'm not trying to lessen the contributions of 30 years ago, just to say that in terms of sheer numbers and access, it's not what it is today.

Re:Yes (2, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222122)

Had the land grab happened thirty years ago, and the patent office learned to deal with it then, this all would have been worked out by now. The hobbyist software creator didn't exist in large part thirty years ago, and the fights would have been between large companies like IBM and its challengers.
True that. Seriously, folks, who's got the patent on operating systems? Software that interfaces with hardware for you? That would be great. Software patents work great until it's something obvious that shouldn't be patentable, but who draws the line? That's what we're arguing here. An antivirus on an smtp or ftp gateway? In what way is that any less obvious than an operating system?

I'm going to patent writing data to hard drives, and make millions off this system in the name of progress.

Re:Yes (2)

Flambergius (55153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221342)

Well, to be more accurate, what the patent system is supposed to do in a case like this is lower the net costs of security, and then reward the inventor by diverting some of the savings to him.

Sort of, yes, but mostly, no. (Or you are just be using "net cost" loosely.) Patent system isn't supposed drive down prices, it is supposed to drive up the benefits. Patent system also only works over time, sometimes quite a long time. One can't really make any claims or observations about the patent system at any single point of time. (Don't judge a function by its value, but by the value of its derivate. :-))

The mechanism by which patent systems drives up benefits is broadly that sharing innovations speeds innovation. There is a steep cost in giving monopolies to any one actor. In theory, innovation is a cumulative process and the cost is constant, so valid patents usually end up positive. Keys to validness of a patent are of course novelty and non-obviousness. The '600 patent seems to fail here.

Re:Yes (1)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221684)

But is it wrong if another person makes something similar and sells it for 0.5 million?

Even if you do patent something, if someone else makes a similar thing from scratch, and sells it for less or makes it free, well tough, you shouldn't be able to sue them for it. If you find that you have competition, you improve your own product, things should be sold by their value, not by destroying competition.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221968)

I think it actually breaks down when the holder of the patent doesn't produce a novel or competitive product with it.


What would really ice it would be if it was demonstrated that the market won't bear Trend's prices. If Trend's product was good enough to completely dominate the market, this wouldn't matter.

Re:Yes (5, Funny)

prelelat (201821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222064)

Mario was a great inventor coming up with all sorts of ideas. As time went on Mario couldn't keep up with all of his ideas, he didn't know what to do. So he wrote down the process that he used to come up with those ideas so that he could hire others to think things for him so that he wouldn't loose his ideas. Weeks after this started employees quit working and started their own inventions using Mario's method of creating.

Mario was furious and went to court he won, he had prior art. So after that he filed for a patent on all of his ways of making ideas. Mario now owned any intelligent thought. He renamed it Mario's idea machine, people had to pay him an annual fee of 200 dollars to have 2 good ideas a year, anymore and they would have to purchase extra licenses at a greater cost. Mario no longer had to have ideas of his own, he had a workshop of idea people, and the whole world had to pay him to have ideas. But there was a problem, no one wanted to have ideas because they couldn't afford to have them. People became stupid as having good ideas was no longer an excepted thing to do. The people in Mario's shop never came up with new and exciting ideas anymore because they were too busy fighting lawsuits against people who had ideas such as the pirate brain. The world stopped, hunger set in, the population decreased. Finally when the patent was about to expire Mario's great great grandchild had a great idea, extend the patent another 10 years. The law passed, only because by this time it was only accepted to have stupid ideas, seeing as how all the good ideas cost money.

Finally the patent expired, all that were left looked like mindless cavemen. They lived in shells of homes, with little to know food. All that was spoken were grunts, people had been afraid litigation for so long they were afraid to say something smart. Forest and animals have overgrown most of the cities, people had been living off of canned spam for years.

Moral of the story is stupid patents ruin society, stop it.

Re:Yes thats whats wrong with it (0)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220872)

Just like the big music companies crying they lost 60 billion in POSSIBLE revenue. They say it was lost because of all the downloading, but who told them it was fair to sell the CD at
22.00$ at walmart when the artist only gets 1$ per cd after the first 500,000 copies or so.

Don't tell me they advertised for a 5000% spread, I won't belive you, same thing with the movie business as well, why decide this dvd is exacvtly 12.99 and the other is 16.95...come on please....

All I have to say is information is free, we would be a much better society if we all put our efforts in fighting disease and famine and these things then worrying about getting paid all the time.

"Did you forget to pay me for your opinion this morning??? I own the words you speak."

Re:Yes (4, Insightful)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220946)

Respectfully disagree.

The patent system is *not* supposed to raise the price of security.

The patent system is supposed to:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts [source: US Constitution [archives.gov] , Article I, Sec. 8.

Making a profit from something as obvious as putting a filter in a firewall does little or nothing to achieve this goal. The largest patent holders (including IBM and Microsoft) all agree the system needs reform. But patent reform is a lot like campaign finance reform, everyone agrees there's a problem but no one really has anything they can realistically take to congress.

Re:Yes (2, Insightful)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221396)

But patent reform is a lot like campaign finance reform, everyone agrees there's a problem but no one really has anything they can realistically take to congress.
The congress is there to represent the People, not to rubberstamp bills crafted by corporations. As such, there is no need for them to wait for the private sector to take the initiative. They should just sit down, on their enlightened, elected asses, and come up with a law that really promotes the "Progress of Science and the useful Arts".

Concepts vs. Implementations (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221364)

I thought that patents were supposed to protect my particular "solution" to a problem, not the entire concept of solving the problem itself.

Let's say that I invent a machine to separate cotton from the seeds. I am granted a patent on MY PARTICULAR "method and apparatus for separating cotton from seeds". That does NOT give me a monopoly on ALL machines to accomplish the same task. Someone else comes up with a completely different mechanism to accomplish the same task, now we have a competition without any hint of patent infringement.

Seems to me that the onus would be on Trend Micro to prove that Barracuda and/or ClamAV copied their precise implementation (source code) and used it in their products. Simply placing a virus scanner on the same server as your email and ftp services is in NO WAY a 'patentable' idea.

Re:Yes (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221918)

Um, that's what the patent system is supposed to do - to make it worthwhile investing in inventing things!
No, the patent system is supposed to make it worthwhile inventing things, not investing in inventing things.. Can you see the distinction?

Did Trend Micro invent "anti-virus detection on an SMTP or FTP gateway"? No. They didn't even invent the idea of "anti-virus detection on an SMTP or FTP gateway" (not that makes any difference).

They had a lawyer fill out a form before some other lawyer filled out a form, and now the world is supposed to pay them for the idea of protecting data forever.

Bullshit.

Prior art? (3, Interesting)

initialE (758110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220700)

Why not say that this behavior is the inadvertent result of placing 2 products, an SMTP gateway, and an antivirus client, side by side on the same server? the gateway stores the mail in a temporary store, whereupon the antivirus just happens to sanitize it, before the mail is again sent on it's way. This is obviousness in the extreme.

Re:Prior art? (3, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220824)

Why not say that this behavior is the inadvertent result of placing 2 products, an SMTP gateway, and an antivirus client, side by side on the same server?
A lot of processes can be simplified in such way and still are original. A decision has to be made even if a process seems obvious after being "discovered".

Er WTF? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221334)

So does that mean I can file a patent for running Microsoft Word in a VM just because I happen to be doing it right now?

An idea has to be ORIGINAL and NOVEL to be patentable. Just saying "take A and B and do them together!" does not a patent make.

Re:Er WTF? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221548)

Just saying "take A and B and do them together!" does not a patent make.
Still, that a process can be described as "the simultaneous use of A and B" doesn't mean it isn't patentable. Thus, my response to the thread starter.

Re:Prior art? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22220960)

Here's some folks discussing the idea in 1994 (the year prior to the application) - and even then talking about it as if it was already a common thing.

http://forums.fedoraforum.org/archive/index.php/t-29630.html [fedoraforum.org]

Re:Prior art? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221070)

Ha, you got someone to mod you insightful!

To spare everyone else, this conversation is from 1994 + 10 years.

Re:Prior art? (1)

mongus (131392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221182)

You might want to check the dates again. Those messages are from 2004, not 1994.

Re:Prior art? (2, Funny)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221002)


Why not say that this behavior is the inadvertent result of placing 2 products, an SMTP gateway, and an antivirus client, side by side on the same server? the gateway stores the mail in a temporary store, whereupon the antivirus just happens to sanitize it, before the mail is again sent on it's way. This is obviousness in the extreme.


That's a good idea, you should patent it.

"Virus scanning of cache and temporary files before end user utilization."

Re:Prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221768)

Agreed. My staff built such a system back around 2000. It was ridiculously simple. The spool directory was on a RAM disk. A script would decode every attachment into a scratch directory (also on the RAM disk), run the AV check, and trash the message if it was not clean. It worked incredibly well -- they still use it today!

Not only is a shock that someone would patent such a thing, I am equally surprised that someone sells a commercial product to do what a reasonably competent sysadmin can script in about 15 minutes.

Bad news for a lot of us (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220722)

There's a lot of mail admins out there - and a lot who consider a quick & dirty mail relay running Linux and ClamAV to be a pretty good first line of defense against email-borne trojans and virii. Seeing as ClamAV doesn't have a daemon mode, and end users in any large organisation can seldom be trusted to run their own AV scans as required[1] that's pretty much the biggest use for it.

[1] Yes I know all you geeks might be OK. But you're not the sort to open every silly email you receive. The receptionist who forwards all the "Look Out for the Terrible Good Times Virus!!!111OMGWTFBBQ" emails she receives is, and if she could be relied upon to follow good computing practices, we wouldn't need AV software in the first place.

Re:Bad news for a lot of us (2, Informative)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220792)

There's a lot of mail admins out there - and a lot who consider a quick & dirty mail relay running Linux and ClamAV to be a pretty good first line of defense against email-borne trojans and virii. Seeing as ClamAV doesn't have a daemon mode, and end users in any large organisation can seldom be trusted to run their own AV scans as required[1] that's pretty much the biggest use for it.

ClamAV does have a daemon mode [die.net] . Are you thinking of a local Windows client? Realtime filesystem scanning?

Re:Bad news for a lot of us (5, Funny)

MonsterOfTheLake (880659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220796)

The receptionist who forwards all the "Look Out for the Terrible Good Times Virus!!!111OMGWTFBBQ" emails she receives is, and if she could be relied upon to follow good computing practices, we wouldn't need AV software in the first place.
Man, I hate that receptionist.

Re:Bad news for a lot of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221160)


It's a good thing she's hot.

Re:Bad news for a lot of us (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221386)

She's hot and you're just angry she turned you down! ;-)

Re:Bad news for a lot of us (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222016)

Around my area we have a name for her-Sally the secretary. She is sweet as pie, a great source on company gossip if you're friendly to her, but about as clueless as they come when it comes to anything to do with a pc.


True story-I had to set up a "foolproof" security scheme for a Sally Secretary who worked at a tv repair shop. She kept infecting her pc by surfing stupid joke sites and clicking on anything her friends sent her during her lunch break, and the boss couldn't fire her as she was his sister-in-law. After setting her up with auto updating Firewall and AV, and white-listing the apps she required for work, I gave her Firefox with adblock and noscript as her own "personal" browser(they had an intranet app that required IE) and I taught her that if anything should pop-up asking her permission for ANYTHING, she should "just say no" and showed her a pop-up and clicked no just so she would have the idea.


A couple of weeks later I'm called back to pick up the bosses kids pc as he was so impressed by what I had done for his secretary that he wanted his families done the same way. While I am sitting there talking to the boss I keep hearing "NO" come out of the front office. As I am sure some of you have guessed by now, when I looked out front to see what was going on little Sally was on her lunch break surfing and "just saying NO" every time a pop-up asked for her permission. And looking VERY pleased with herself, I might add. At least she was clicking the right button while she "just said NO" to the screen.

Re:Bad news for a lot of us (2, Informative)

kc8tbe (772879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220806)

ClamAV does have a daemon, it just doesn't have on on-access scanner for Windows -- yet. The people over at Clamwin http://www.clamwin.com/content/view/35/27/ [clamwin.com] are working on one. Linux users interested in on-access scanning should look up Clamuko, but then if you run Linux you probably don't need an on-access virus scanner...

ClamAV and on-access scanning (2, Interesting)

omnirealm (244599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220980)

jimicus wrote:
> Seeing as ClamAV doesn't have a daemon mode

The stackable filesystem team (the ones who wrote Unionfs [sunysb.edu] ) put together a filesystem that uses ClamAV [sunysb.edu] to perform on-access virus scanning in the kernel.

Re:Bad news for a lot of us (2, Insightful)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221328)

While your statement is true, there is a huge difference between what everyday admins are doing within their organization and what Barracuda is doing. Barracuda are packaging clamav and selling it as a product (regardless of the merits or lack their of of this lawsuit).

Also, while I do believe the patent is overly broad, this is what the patents are for. It is not like Trend Micro is a patent hoarding firm, they do make products, in fact they actually make products that relate to the patents they hold, so I view them slightly better then I view Minerva Industries.... (the smartphone patent)

Re:Bad news for a lot of us (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221954)

Seeing as ClamAV doesn't have a daemon mode

I suggest you do research before making such ridiculous claims.

me@mymachine:~$> man clamd
Clam Daemon(8) Clam AntiVirus Clam Daemon(8)

NAME
              clamd - an anti-virus daemon

DESCRIPTION
              The daemon listens for incoming connections on Unix and/or TCP socket
              and scans files or directories on demand. It reads the configuration
              from /etc/clamav/clamd.conf

etc...

(Slashdot's eating the set of spaces between (8) and Clam, and again between AntiVirus and Clam on the first line. Pretend they're there.)

Prior art or obviousness? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22220752)

Can we really be bothered to break out those archived procmail scripts? We're talking about a functional equivalent of a unix pipe; novel or inventive -- I think not!

Go barracuda!

Re:Prior art or obviousness? (2, Insightful)

ElBeano (570883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220826)

AC is exactly right. This isn't worthy of a patent. Convincing the court of this will nonetheless require educating people who are likely to be clueless as to WHY this is obvious. To those who disagree, please tell my why this deserves a patent and why any sane admin wouldn't think of it without Trend Micro's help?

Re:Prior art or obviousness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221118)

I'm the AC you replied to, the linked patent abstract refers to a proxy. Even so, there's nothing patentable in this.

The TM patent was filed in 95 and I think it's weak. Claim 1:

1. A system for detecting and selectively removing viruses in data transfers, the system comprising:
 
a memory for storing data and routines, the memory having inputs and outputs, the memory including a server for scanning data for a virus and specifying data handling actions dependent on an existence of the virus;
 
a communications unit for receiving and sending data in response to control signals, the communications unit having an input and an output;
 
a processing unit for receiving signals from the memory and the communications unit and for sending signals to the memory and communications unit; the processing unit having inputs and outputs; the inputs of the processing unit coupled to the outputs of memory and the output of the communications unit; the outputs of the processing unit coupled to the inputs of memory, the input of the communications unit, the processor controlling and processing data transmitted through the communications unit to detect viruses and selectively transfer data depending on the existence of viruses in the data being transmitted;
 
a proxy server for receiving data to be transferred, the proxy server scanning the data to be transferred for viruses and controlling transmission of the data to be transferred according to preset handing instructions and the presence of viruses, the proxy server having a data input a data output and a control output the data input coupled to receive the data to be transferred; and
 
a daemon for transferring data from the proxy server in response to control signals from the proxy server, the daemon having a control input, a data input and a data output the control input of the daemon coupled to the control output of the proxy server for receiving control signals, and the data input of the daemon coupled to the data output of the proxy server for receiving the data to be transferred.
They just described a network processing job, restricting it to specific types of data (email and viruses) isn't novel and there's no inventive step.

MIMEsweeper prior art (4, Informative)

RupW (515653) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220770)

From TFA (the Groklaw article):

We also believe that a product called MIMESweeper 1.0 from a company called Clearswift, Authentium, or Integralis anticipates several claims of the '600 patent. We have yet to locate a copy of this product and would appreciate anyone who has a copy sending it our way.
Yes, Clearswift currently own MIMEsweeper although Clearswift didn't exist back then - they're a merger of several firms who had similar products.

They're not hard to find [clearswift.com] . Why not just ask them?

Re:MIMEsweeper prior art (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221330)

They would do well to find that product. According to this Google Groups thread [google.com] , it was shown at a tradeshow called "Networks 95" in July, 2 months before the patent application was filed.

Either way, the mere fact that people were asking for such a product on usenet prior to the filing date should help their case.

Granting frivolous patents should be punishable (3, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220790)

The people who grant patents should be liable to be fired for gross incompetence?

If I file a patent for the process of giving names to children so they can be distinguished and it's granted, is there someone responsible for that? When a judge overturns the patent, the granter should suffer the consequences somehow.

Re:Granting frivolous patents should be punishable (1)

MonsterOfTheLake (880659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220840)

The people who grant patents should be liable to be fired for gross incompetence?
You should patent that.

Punish the patent clerk... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221186)

...by making him pay all the lost "possible revenue" the patent requestor might have earned if the patent had actually been worthy.

Re:Granting frivolous patents should be punishable (1)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221408)

If you did that, nobody would want to work for the patent office.
Besides, the whole point of banding together to form a collective, whether it be a corporation, a non-profit, or a government institution, is that people can have a greater effect on society by pooling their work together into a coordinated effort while limiting their liability.
If you would like the USPTO as a whole to be penalized for the aggregate proportion of lame versus useful patents, that would be more acceptable, but still hard to implement. How exactly do you punish something like the USPTO?
They're not in it to make money, so fines are not exactly a punishment.
What would you achieve by fining them to death, closing the USPTO due to "bankruptcy"? :P
Firing whoever's in charge of it? Again, nobody would want to work there if they had to accept that liability.
A better solution would simply be to raise the prices of patents on a tiered scale, so that megacorps would have to pay for issuing an excessive number of patents, which would give the USPTO more resources to check them and serve as a small deterrent.
Scalable business model == good thing.

Re:Granting frivolous patents should be punishable (3, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221460)

Firing whoever's in charge of it? Again, nobody would want to work there if they had to accept that liability.
Yeah, it'd really suck if those put in positions of power whose daily actions affect the entire future of innovation of an entire country were to be actually held accountable for the fallout from their bad decisions.

Re:Granting frivolous patents should be punishable (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221592)

If you did that, nobody would want to work for the patent office.
That only means it's underpaid.

Lot's of people work in positions that would instantly fire them at the first mistake, and with much subtler mistakes than those we are arguing about*. They still like those jobs because, as long as they can keep them, they pay well.

*: I do believe that in patent granting there must be really convoluted and complex cases that involve very uses of previous knowledge in subtle ways. However I don't believe those cases conform the majority.

Shows what antivirus business is about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22220800)

I think this shows clearly what the anti-virus business is about. "Pay us and we will protect you"

More likely (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220866)

Pay us and we will let you protect yourself.

Prior art from BBSes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22220832)

Back in the old days, it was pretty common to run AV checks on files uploaded at a BBS. It's not quite FTP, but it's close.

Re:Prior art from BBSes (1)

ibbie (647332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221446)

Good point, there. Does anyone recall which BBS software did this?

Re:Prior art from BBSes (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222104)

RA [rapro.com] and Wildcat [santronics.com] both did this.

You are looking for an "upload door".

My ISP... (1, Interesting)

baadger (764884) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220834)

My ISP does anti-viral scanning on outgoing mail via SMTP. Does this mean they, and every other similarly setup ISP, are paying royalties to Trend Micro?

If so, I think I quite fancy changing ISPs. I could be paying to support this ludicrous patent.

Re:My ISP... (2, Insightful)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221174)

The ISP probably didn't write their own virus-scanning software. They probably bought it, and the company they bought it from may or may not be paying royalties.

Bandwagon? (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220880)

Trend Micro have been in the business a long time, how long? Long enough to OWN "antivirus.com". How many 386 and earlier motherboards had "trend chip away boot sector protection"?

They invented a few of the modern ways to scan for and stop virus, spyware and spam email from getting into a windows box, pretty much every one else in the industry will accede to that, why do these guys think, they can get a free lunch for something someone else invented a fair while back.

Symantec wouldn't be paying up unless they knew it was an un-winnable case.

Notice the reason they are chasing this company is because they are making money out of it? Seems they couldn't be fucked chasing an open source project.

As for some of the comments...

"They might establish a royalty basis for damage calculation," Lemley says. "But the fact that it's open source might mean that we treat [the Barracuda case] differently. It' s not clear that we should be paying the same damages, or even how one should calculate damages, because we normally calculate it as a percentage of the revenue" -- and, of course, FOSS projects have only limited funds at the best of times."

Wait? its very easy to establish damages, this company MAKES MONEY, they use an open source project, they are NOT an open source project themselves.

"That would tend to confirm my belief that what we have here is a software company prepared to do harm to the free [software] world solely for its own profit."

No it doesn't, they said they don't intend to attack clam AV at all, only this competitor who is using something they came up with and not paying dues for it.

Re:Bandwagon? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22220928)

AV scanning SMTP isn't an invention, it's the very definition of freaking obvious. The patent is a joke.

Re:Bandwagon? (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220956)

They invented a few of the modern ways to scan for and stop virus, spyware and spam email from getting into a windows box, pretty much every one else in the industry will accede to that, why do these guys think, they can get a free lunch for something someone else invented a fair while back.

If by "invented" you mean "applied established techniques in a way that's obvious to a five-year-old and thus is not eligable for patent protection except if the patent office is out of control and making up the law as it goes along with no oversight from a corrupt government that has no interest in law or justice", then you have a point.

On the other hand, if you mean to suggest that Trend Micro invented the idea of scanning email for viruses as it arrives, then you need to get out more.

TWW

Re:Bandwagon? (1)

keko_metal (1010011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221094)

"That would tend to confirm my belief that what we have here is a software company prepared to do harm to the free [software] world solely for its own profit."
No it doesn't, they said they don't intend to attack clam AV at all, only this competitor who is using something they came up with and not paying dues for it
It will harm ClamAV anyway. Remember the SCO case?
It's the same message: Use ClamAV, get sued.

They don't sue the open source project because there's no money to suck from there.

Re:Bandwagon? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221140)

I don't think ClamAV itself would be the targetted product. It in and of itself is just a general purpose virus scanner. The projects that could come under fire would more likely be products that tie it into the email system, such as amavisd-new and such.

Re:Bandwagon? (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221488)

Symantec probably don't pay, they probably just have a cross-licensing agreement. Getting a cross-licensing agreement in place is probably a whole lot less effort than litigating - so the companies choose the path of least resistance.

Re:Bandwagon? (2, Interesting)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221844)

Symantec wouldn't be paying up unless they knew it was an un-winnable case.


Phooey. Here's a fairly common scenario:

(1) Company gets questionable patent
(2) Company offers a very inexpensive license to a big-name suspected infringer
(3) big-name suspected infringer buys the license because it's a lot cheaper than litigating
(4) Company goes around to others and says "big-name suspected infringer has a license, so it must be legit. Pay up." Only, this time, Company asks for a lot more money.

The US Patent Office is still poorly equipped to handle software patents, so it lets a lot more through than it should, turning a lot of the job of proving their validity to the courts. But, patent lawsuits are expensive, so most patents are never tested.

Simple effective solution (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22220988)

Scrap patents completely across the board. The days of government-backed monopoloies are dead and gone, aren't they? So let's ditch the corrupted patent system altogether.

TWW

Re:Simple effective solution (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221136)

Well, in my state, MDU has a monopoly on providing power to the cities and towns while the REC's have the countryside. So, no, the time of Government-backed monopolies is not dead.

All Too Easy To Fix (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221006)

Excise said offending code from the codebase, then, make it available as a free plugin hosted outside of the United States.

Done.

NOT AT All Too Easy To Fix (2, Interesting)

crimperman (225941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221212)

Excise said offending code from the codebase,

That won't work in this case. The patent is for "A system for detecting and eliminating viruses on a computer network includes a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) proxy server, for controlling the transfer of files and a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) proxy server for controlling the transfer of mail messages through the system." So for Barracuda to comply they must stop scanning e-mails for viruses in their products.

This also means that it is not the use of ClamAV per-se which is being challenged but the fact that Barracuda are providing a server which scans for e-mail viruses. No wonder they are going to fight this - it's yer basic "pay up or close down" threat.

Not that I would mind too much - Barracuda's kit has caused me no end of pain in the last year and I don't even use one!

Barracuda makes the problem worse (5, Interesting)

Arrogant-Bastard (141720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221062)

Note that Barracuda's products are notorious for generating spam. Barracuda's engineers were informed of the problem years ago, provided with a fix -- and stubbornly refused to address the situation. It's no wonder that there are now thousands of Barracuda installations on various blacklists. (Two examples: Backscatterers [backscatterers.com] and Backscatterer.org [backscatterer.org] ) Barracuda doesn't seem to care as long as they make money.

A secondary point is that Barracuda's products are NOT open-source. Oh, they're built almost entirely on open-source (an open-source operating system, an open-source mail server, an open-source anti-spam scanner, an open-source anti-virus scanner, etc.) but they're not open-source. Essentially what they've done is take all of that open-source code, slap a web front-end on it for the point-and-drool crowd, and then sell it. They're not in this to help out the Internet or stop spam or anything else admirable: they're in this to make money, and they're perfectly willing (see first point) to make the spam problem worse if it increases their profits.

They're not alone in that -- there are others out there who are in business to profit from our collective misery. An excellent way of spotting such companies is to ask the question: "What would happen if the problem they claim to address was actually solved?" If the answer to that question is "they would go out of business", then their motivation for always treating the symptoms and never treating the underlying cause will become clear.

Mod up please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221230)

They're not alone in that -- there are others out there who are in business to profit from our collective misery. An excellent way of spotting such companies is to ask the question: "What would happen if the problem they claim to address was actually solved?" If the answer to that question is "they would go out of business", then their motivation for always treating the symptoms and never treating the underlying cause will become clear.

Exactly like the pharmaceutical industry.

Re:Mod up please (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221358)

They're not alone in that -- there are others out there who are in business to profit from our collective misery. An excellent way of spotting such companies is to ask the question: "What would happen if the problem they claim to address was actually solved?" If the answer to that question is "they would go out of business", then their motivation for always treating the symptoms and never treating the underlying cause will become clear.

Exactly like the pharmaceutical industry.
Yes. Like the pharmaceutical industry. Also like Medicine in general. (Why should I promote a healthy lifestyle? If my patients eat more, I get to treat them for all sorts of problems!) Also most branches of software engineering. (Hey: MSOffice2K/IE4/Netscape 4.0x works great. Let's give up now while we're ahead!) Answer: This is why we can't have nice people. (http://xkcd.com/374/) At some point we have to trust others. I do it the President Reagan way: Trust but verify.

Re:Mod up please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221420)

They're not alone in that -- there are others out there who are in business to profit from our collective misery. An excellent way of spotting such companies is to ask the question: "What would happen if the problem they claim to address was actually solved?" If the answer to that question is "they would go out of business", then their motivation for always treating the symptoms and never treating the underlying cause will become clear.

Exactly like the pharmaceutical industry.
Yeah, all the big pharmaceutical companies would have to do in order to keep us all alive forever without using any more drugs is to repeal the second law of thermodynamics and stop aging. :-P

You're a drooling, mouth-breathing dumbass, aren't you?

Re:Mod up please (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221538)

It would be nice if big pharma would start by simply stop making
drugs that cause so many side effects that you have to take 5
other drugs just to deal with the unwanted side effects of the
first one.

Big pharma is a big scam.

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221274)

Interesting. Barracuda's recommended settings (I have one sitting next to me we no longer use) are to have the bounce-on-reject or whatever its called turned off. The default is to have it on, but the defaults are clearly defined as a least restrictive/change these to meet your environment before putting in production sort of thing.

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221350)

I'm fully in agreement with you in that the Barracuda's suck as far as anti-spam/anti-virus email gateways go - they backscatter (despite the fact that the underlying FOSS products they use can be configured to NOT backscatter), they limit which capabilities of the underlying products you can use, and are all around junk (if you are qualified to run a mail server, you can build a better solution yourself using the same or similar FOSS software that Barracuda uses). I ran a shop with Barracudas (forced on me by an idiot boss), and we threw them out after 6 months - a lot of the HA stuff like quarantining, etc just didn't work. On top of all that, I find it questionable that, given that these things are mostly FOSS, they are such a closed "blackbox" appliance...

HOWEVER, that doesn't change the fact that what Trend Micro is trying to lay claim to is preposterous - a patent on something as obvious as scanning email at a central relay on it's way in is ridiculous. For practically as long as email has been around, people have had filters (via things like procmail, etc) to keep certain types of content out. Virii is just one more type of objectionable content to look for. Scanning for a virus is obvious and not even a fantastic new idea, so a patent on such a thing is just crazy.

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221384)

No, it is (at least partially) opensource. I don't know what exactly barracuda is running on their boxes exactly since you didn't say, but at the very least ClamAV is GPL and we know they're running it; and that means if they sell you something with a ClamAV binary on it, you're entitled to the source.

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (2, Insightful)

svallarian (43156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221404)

I couldn't give a spit that the front end isn't open source. All I know is that I was able to get gateway level spam protection for under $5k for 200 users. Which would have cost well over $20k+ for a commercial solution that only works half as well. And, yes, I could have set all of that up from scratch and save a few thousand, but my time is better spent elsewhere.

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (1)

quaero_notitia (1192373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221406)

"What would happen if the problem they claim to address was actually solved?"
Or the cosmetics industry, or...you name it. Treating "symptoms" is what makes this business world go 'round.

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (1)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221416)

>> "What would happen if the problem they claim to address was actually solved?" If the answer to that question is "they would go out of business", then their motivation for always treating the symptoms and never treating the underlying cause will become clear.

You know, I ask that of the War on Terror / Drugs / Communists / File Sharers on a daily basis ...

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (1)

jblakezachary (1025970) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222006)

Barracuda's products do not make the problem worse. With this logic, every RCF compliant mail server in the world makes the problem worse by simply offering NDR, as Barracuda does. NDR functionality is standard. Incompetent admins (and SMTP itself) are the culprit, enabling NDR during configuration and never turning it off. Barracuda actually recomends all of its clients break RFC and leave NDR disabled . From RFC2821 section 3.7: "If an SMTP server has accepted the task of relaying the mail and later finds that the destination is incorrect or that the mail cannot be delivered for some other reason, then it MUST construct an "undeliverable mail" notification message and send it to the originator of the undeliverable mail (as indicated by the reverse-path)."

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (1)

Arrogant-Bastard (141720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222224)

Nonsense. It is perfectly RFC-compliant to issue an SMTP refusal during the conversation with the SMTP client. This leaves responsibility for the returning an NDR with that client, thus avoiding the generation of backscatter/outscatter. Moreover, this has been a very well-known best practice for the better part of a decade -- even casual and novice mail server operators are well aware of it. Surely anyone claiming even minimal expertise in the anti-spam area should not only be well aware of it, but have long since done the necessary coding/configuration work to eliminate the problem entirely.

I suggest using the search engine of your choice to search for "backscatter spam" and reading what you find. Among other things, you'll notice that since backscatter is spam, that sites emitting it are eligible for several blacklists in addition to the two I already cited. You'll also notice that there has been particular emphasis placed on eliminating it by numerous participants in the anti-spam community -- a community, I might add, that Barracuda is conspicuously absent from.

Re:Barracuda makes the problem worse (2, Informative)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222206)

Not to mention that my six year old daughter could provide better tech support than Barracuda does :(

We use a pair of Barracudas where I work to filter incoming e-mail, and in all truth, they work really, really well. That is, until something breaks. One of our units had problems with its hard drive, so we called tech support. They dinked around with the box (on our network) for over a week without fixing it -- all the while it was spooling up mail, but not delivering it -- and then things got bad. The Tech Support genius working on the box finally figured out the drive was having problems writing to /var, so he *comments the line mounting /var from /etc/fstab* and reboots the box.

Question for all you *nix gurus out there -- can a unix-like OS reboot without /var being mounted?

Anyway, at this point we're livid. Our box has been out of commission for over a week, the Tech Support n00b has finally hosed the box beyond in-the-field repair, and now we've got to send the box to Barracuda for replacement. Unfortunately, we don't have instant replacement on our warranty service any more, so they want us to ship the box back to them, and then once they get it they will ship a replacement unit to us. Since that means something like another 5-10 days of downtime on a box that's already been down for over a week, we ask about buying the instant replacement policy on the unit, and they tell us that yes, we can do that, but we'll have to buy the policy from the date it expired, meaning we will have only another month or two left on the policy after we buy it, and that buying the instant replacement policy is something like 3/4 the cost of simply buying a new unit outright.

Google? (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221220)

I did a quick advanced search up until 1995 and found bits and pieces of stuff. I think y ou would have to search for all the available anti-virus at the time and THEN look for modules that handled proxy filtering.

Forget about 'prior art' How about "It's OBVIOUS! (0, Redundant)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221266)

Putting content scanning on an email server is pretty damned obvious. The patent should be revoked on those grounds alone!

Re:Forget about 'prior art' How about "It's OBVIOU (1)

crimperman (225941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221324)

Putting content scanning on an email server is pretty damned obvious.

But the patent wouldn't cover you or I[1] getting a fresh server, installing an MTA, installing a virus scanner and then integrating the two. The patent covers you or I distributing a product which includes those two things as a single service.
Software patents are plain wrong but it's not because an individual claim happens to be obvious, it's because the concept of patents is flawed when applied to software.

[1]Actually it doesn't cover me - I live in the UK :o)

Err (2, Funny)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221338)

I guess I'll wait for a new protocol to come and patent "Fighting virus on XX protocol" That should do it. Man, this patent is so retarded, Trend Micro should be ashamed for ever filing it...

Re:Err (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222142)

Hey! That violates my patent "#5699039: A system for creating patents based on newly released protocols".

patent idea reversal (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221412)

Perhaps the best play is to use the bad patent system and patent an antivirus system with included smtp and ftp abilties... because in the eyes of the patent office, this is completely different from an smtp and ftp system with antivirus abilities.

Hang on a second... (4, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221438)

I must be missing something here...

I have configured for a number of my clients their own SMTP servers for which I charge. These servers are generally gateways with postfix as the server. The anti-virus is ClamAV which is called by postfix.

Or to put it another way they have 'anti-virus detection on an SMTP or FTP gateway'.

Does this this mean I have violated this patent? Or should the patent be rewritten as 'Patent 5,623,600: Installing software on a computer'?

Re:Hang on a second... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22221864)

What you have done is morally equivalent to stealing a CD from a record store. You're a thief.

Re:Hang on a second... (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221970)

I've been doing the same thing with qmail for at least 10 years with McAfee before ClamAV.

you don't hold the copyright (1)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222238)

IANAL, blah blah blah (of course), but I would think since you don't own the copyright on the software (and therefore don't own full rights to it), you're not liable.

"Proxy" server (1)

srealm (157581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221532)

The patent listed above covers the running of an FTP or SMTP PROXY server. AFAIK ClamAV is simply a virus scanner, one that runs as a daemon and you can send it a signal to scan files in X location and report back, but still just a virus scanner. The patent listed here *MIGHT* apply to Amavis, but not ClamAV. Amavis is actually creating a proxy SMTP server and then delivering it to the 'real' SMTP port once it is clean. And it USES ClamAV and other virus scanners. But ClamAV doesn't do this by itself.

A quick google for prior art... (5, Informative)

martyb (196687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221654)

Thanks to google and its archive of usenet posts: this query [google.com] on google groups of: "FTP SMTP virus proxy server group:comp.*" for the time period of 01-Jan-95 through 26-Sep-95 (the patent was filed on 26-Sep-95) returned this link [google.com] .

It appeared in the comp.security.misc newsgroup and the first few paragraphs (emphasis added) suggests to me this might be prior art:

FOSE '95, WASHINGTON, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Norman Data Defense Systems, Inc. today introduced the Norman Firewall, a firewall providing a single, highly secured route for data traveling between networks and the Internet.

"We are proud to deliver a new level of data defense for networks that are currently vulnerable to attack from a variety of global data security threats, including hackers and viruses," said Norman Data Defense Systems, Inc. President and CEO David J. Stang, Ph.D.

Like a sentry positioned to identify visitors and then authorize or deny entry, the Norman Firewall combines an integrated front-end server, proxy server, and virus detector to defend systems and information. The Norman Firewall essentially opens incoming and outgoing data packets, and inspects, virus-checks (against more than 6,500 known viruses), and repackages the data packets, before delivery to their destination. No packets ever need to directly enter or leave internal networks.

I don't have time right now to search further, but wanted to put this out there for others to follow up on. Any takers?

P.S. As a point of comparison, consider that the Morris Worm [wikipedia.org] was released onto the internet on 02-Nov-88 (more details here: A Tour of the Worm [std.com] ) and THAT was nearly SEVEN YEARS before this patent was filed!

Isn't their real argument against ClamAV? (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221726)

But they're not going after small potatoes ClamAV for violating their patent. They're going after bigger potatoes, someone using a free service. This would be like if your computer uses an operating system, you've got to pay a fee to Microsoft no matter which OS you use--oh wait!

Seriously, it seems to me that this patent is another one of those overreaching ones. It's coming upon obvious technology, not created by itself and rushing to get a patent so that everyone who uses this technology to fight viruses has to pay a fee.

Re:Isn't their real argument against ClamAV? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221978)

But they're not going after small potatoes ClamAV for violating their patent. They're going after bigger potatoes, someone using a free service. This would be like if your computer uses an operating system, you've got to pay a fee to Microsoft no matter which OS you use--oh wait!

Seriously, it seems to me that this patent is another one of those overreaching ones. It's coming upon obvious technology, not created by itself and rushing to get a patent so that everyone who uses this technology to fight viruses has to pay a fee.
I don't buy the "ClamAv will be sued" too. Last thing a security company needs is making near all server admins mad. Even OS X Server comes with Clamav installed, go figure.

I didn't see any notorious action from Trend Micro all these years, for example the offer OS X/Linux users free commercial quality antivirus running in Firefox via Java ( http://housecall.antivirus.com/ [antivirus.com] with Firefox/OSX ). Imagine what would happen if Symantec came with a similar solution. They never came up with the abuse of "Theoretical, click 20 things to get it installed" threats too.

If those multi million, billion companies really using their patented invention and making millions out of it, let them pay.

I hope Trend to go Real Networks path. They have awarded lots of streaming patents which if you are a closed source company, you cough money and if you are open source, it is free for you. For example, if you are Adobe and want auto sensing of network lag on Youtube and feed the client slower bandwidth until it is OK (which you also auto sense), you pay to them. That is what I understood from their own CTO's post on Slashdot years ago. Sadly, that story got flooded with stupid "spyware" "startup" etc. junk so the significance wasn't discussed.
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/24/2016226 [slashdot.org] (story)

Kevin Foreman's comment
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=183962&cid=15193581 [slashdot.org]

Trend Micro and open source... (2, Interesting)

nologin (256407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221734)

Hmm, the last time I installed a Trend Micro product was about 18 months ago. I know that back in that time, Trend was using postfix on their SMTP gateway anti-virus products implemented on Linux systems.

If Trend Micro is really trying to prevent other companies from offering cheap solutions for anti-virus/anti-spam gateways, I would take a long hard look at how they themselves got to where they did at this point in time.

I want a patent for doing X on the Internet (1)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22221862)

I should patent modding down bad posts on the Internet.

Is it just me, or.. (3, Interesting)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22222040)

Is anyone else starting to get tired of this?

The patent system was invented quite some decades ago to protect inventors from other people, who just stole their inventions and made profit of it.

Back in that days, inventions were actually realy made and development was so slow, that 20 years were a reasonable time for the protection of the invention.

Then time moved on, the number of real inventions did not realy rase, but most stuff was just a mere reorganization of existing stuff, but the number of patents went up.

Nowdays, if someone realy invents something, that would make the world a better place, some big corporation ensures, that it never surfaces bigger public, because that would harm their bussiness. (Like some drafts of more effective engines, and the like).

Now we start putting patents on Software, which is like a book, and should get copyright, but why on earth sould it be patented? And where does that benefit the creation of new inventions? It clearly does the opposit in most perspectives.

So maybe I'm missing the point, but I don't realy see, why this kind of system can keep existence, even thow it slowly brings economy to ruin and helps humanity to get a step closer to selfdestruction. Hmm.. Maybe I'm a bit exagerating, please prove me wrong.
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