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Can F/OSS projects be killed by dormant patents?

skelly33 (891182) writes | more than 7 years ago

Software

skelly33 (891182) writes "I am working on putting together an open source project that has commercial applications but am concerned that some day some random company with a thick patent portfolio is going to see it and try to stamp it out with a cease and desist claiming that they own the concept. The trouble is that many clever concepts have been conceived but lay dormant in patents that are just waiting around for a lawsuit where the patent holder has no intent of ever turning it into a product. Is this a legitimate concern for someone who would much rather avoid investing deep into a project so as not to be brought down by some idiotic/costly lawsuit, or is there any degree of protection afforded through original research and not-for-profit development of an otherwise patented concept under the banner of "Open Source"?"

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