Over at opensource.com, Red Hat's VP and assistant general counsel Rob Tiller writes
about a US Federal Trade Commission report [PDF]
on some of the problems with software patents. "The FTC report recognized that in the IT industry, it's virtually impossible to do clearance searches to verify that new products don't infringe existing patents. The lack of clarity in individual patents combined with the sheer numbers of existing patents make clearance cost prohibitive. Because IT products can contain a large number of components that might each be covered by one or more patents, the number of potentially applicable patents is also large. The report went so far as to characterize clearance as 'a virtual perfect storm of difficulties.'
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