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The expanding need to protect innovation in Linux

ZDNet - Anyone scanning the technology news will likely be struck by the number of intellectual property deals and lawsuits going on at the moment. From Google and Motorola to the ongoing saga of Nortel and Microsoft, and the recent news around Yahoo suing Facebook, intellectual property is turning out to be a dominating story for the tech space at the start of 2012. While money remains one major reason for this, a more positive aspect is the tremendous growth and increasing importance of Linux and other open source software systems.

A coterie of innovation like that of the open source community, benefits everyone from the vendors to the end user who is consuming ever evolving technology. This cooperation and the sharing of ideas are fundamental to the success of the open source community. However, the revenues at stake lead to continual streams of disputes and negotiations. With each big lawsuit that hits the headlines, so the freedom to innovate is ever more potentially constricted as developers grow nervous.