Mycroft Community Forum

GNOME Wins Against Patent Abuser

Originally published at: https://mycroft.ai/blog/gnome-wins-against-patent-abuser/

An enormous congratulations to the GNOME Foundation from all of us at Mycroft AI!

In August of 2019, The GNOME Foundation was served with a lawsuit alleging patent infringement on US Patent 9,936,086. This week a settlement was reached between the two parties.

The patent abuser, in this case, Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC, claims to have invented…get ready for it…a means of capturing images through a mobile device, then utilizing a wireless receiver and transmitter, filtering said images based on a “topic, theme or individual shown in the respective photographic”, then sending those filtered images to another device.

Ridiculous.

The patent abuser claims that The GNOME Foundation’s photo organizing tool, Shotwell, infringed on the patent, and thus GNOME needed to “settle for a high five-figure amount.” The GNOME Foundation took a hard stance and said,

We will stand firm against this baseless attack, not just for GNOME and Shotwell, but for all free and open source software projects.

 

Thankfully, last week the case was settled in a walk-away agreement. GNOME received a release and covenant not to be sued for patents held by Rothschild Patent Imaging. With an additional covenant and release for both patents held by RPI and Leigh Rothschild covering software released under an existing Open Source Initiative approved license (and subsequent versions thereof).

This is a great win for GNOME and for all open source projects.

GNOME was backed by some great attorneys at Shearman & Sterling, our friends over at the Open Invention Network, and 4,100+ Donors pitching in $151,000+ to contribute to the GNOME Patent Troll Defense Fund.

This adds to the encouraging news for us here at Mycroft AI, and reinforces our confidence in our own patent abuse lawsuit.

Nice, but invalidating the patent would have been the best result.

I’ve heard a bit of interest from some popular linux podcasts in getting more information on the details, so hoping that we’ll get to hear more of that soon.