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Google found guilty of Linux patent infringement; Android threatened

Newsbrief by Jordan Crook on Friday April 22, 2011.

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A Texas jury just found Google guilty of patent infringement with regard to the Linux kernel, for which the search giant has been fined $5 million. The software in question is used not only by Google's server platforms, but may also extend to its Android smartphone operating system. This may have great implications for Android's openness. "The amount of the fine is not what makes this an important issue," said intellectual property activist Florian Mueller. "The implication here is really that there is a huge number of Linux users who will be required to pay royalties if this patent holder knocks on their doors in the US. This is definitely a major impediment to the growth of Linux and makes companies, including Google, that relay on open source code particularly vulnerable to patent threats," Mueller said.

source: BBC

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