Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions to the enterprise announced its strong commitment to patent reform to remove barriers to innovation at the Red Hat Summit today. Mark Webbink, Deputy General Counsel at Red Hat, addressed the audience articulating a three-part intellectual property strategy aimed at ensuring an open right to innovate.
The first part of the strategy announced by Webbink builds on the work of the Fedora project, the free Linux project sponsored by Red Hat. Red Hat will create the Fedora Foundation with the intent of moving Fedora project development work and copyright ownership of contributed code to the Foundation. Red Hat will still provide substantial financial and engineering support, but this move will assure broader community involvement in Fedora-sponsored projects.
In recent months Red Hat has engaged in efforts to reform government public policy on patents in Europe and in the United States. Webbink talked specifically of Red Hat's engagement with the European Parliament to amend the Computer-Implemented Inventions directive. In the United States Red Hat has called for reform of the patent system to hold patent applications to a higher standard of scrutiny that ensures better patent quality, and to expand the rights of third parties to challenge questionable patent applications and issued patents.
The third arm of Red Hat's strategy is to work to protect open source by creating a Software Patent Commons. Much like the Creative Commons which encourages collaboration by wide sharing of rights under copyright, a Software Patent Commons would enable a future of free collaboration and thought sharing among software technologists with reduced concern over patents.
"Patents are not equal to innovation," stated Webbink "More often, innovation occurs despite patents. What we observe today in the software industry is the use of patents to maintain marketshare, even where that marketshare has been obtained by anticompetitive means. We need to move away from a system of software patents compromised by trivial, incremental enhancements that block innovation, to a system that is aimed at rewarding substantial innovation."
Red Hat has established a patent portfolio for the purpose of defending against the patent infringement claims of others. For more information on Red Hat's patent policy, please see http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html
About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, the world's leading open source and Linux provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with satellite offices spanning the globe. Red Hat is leading Linux and open source solutions into the mainstream by making high quality, low cost technology accessible. Red Hat provides operating system software along with middleware, applications and management solutions. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide and through top-tier partnerships. Red Hat's open source strategy offers customers a long term plan for building infrastructures that are based on and leverage open source technologies with focus on security and ease of management. Learn more: http://www.redhat.com
Forward-looking statements in this press release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Investors are cautioned that statements in this press release that are not strictly historical statements, including, without limitation, management's plans and objectives for future operations, and management's assessment of market factors, constitute forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, reliance upon strategic relationships, management of growth, the possibility of undetected software errors, the risks of economic downturns generally, and in Red Hat's industry specifically, the risks associated with competition and competitive pricing pressures, the viability of the Internet, and other risks detailed in Red Hat's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, copies of which may be accessed through the SEC's Web site at http://www.sec.gov.
LINUX is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. RED HAT is a registered trademark of Red Hat, Inc. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About Red Hat
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at http://www.redhat.com.
Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: risks related to delays or reductions in information technology spending; the effects of industry consolidation; the ability of the Company to compete effectively; the integration of acquisitions and the ability to market successfully acquired technologies and products; uncertainty and adverse results in litigation and related settlements; the inability to adequately protect Company intellectual property and the potential for infringement or breach of license claims of or relating to third party intellectual property; the ability to deliver and stimulate demand for new products and technological innovations on a timely basis; risks related to data and information security vulnerabilities; ineffective management of, and control over, the Company’s growth and international operations; fluctuations in exchange rates; and changes in and a dependence on key personnel, as well as other factors contained in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q (copies of which may be accessed through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov), including those found therein under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations". In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic and political conditions, governmental and public policy changes and the impact of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.