In September of last year an unprecedented event, in which a company named Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC disclosed a demand towards GNOME, in which she was accused of patent infringement 9,936,086 in the Shotwell photo manager.
The patent in which Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC made its claim, is dated 2008 and describes a technique for wirelessly connecting an image capture device (phone, webcam) a an image receiving device (computer) and then selectively transmit images with filtering by date, location and other parameters. According to the plaintiff, for the infringement of the patent, it is enough to have the import function from the camera, the ability to group images according to certain criteria and send images to external sites (for example, to a social network or photography service ).
Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC is a classic patent troll who lives mainly of small businesses and companies that don't have the resources for a long lawsuit and they find it easier to pay compensation. In the last 6 years, 714 such lawsuits have been filed with this patent troll.
We share this case with all our readers at the time and now we are pleased to share with you the victory announced by GNOMEThat's right guys, GNOME has been victorious in this case.
And it is that the GNOME Foundation has announced the successful resolution of a lawsuit filed by Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC, which accused the project of patent infringement.
For just over 8 months, GNOME did its best for not allowing this injustice to be committed and during that time received support not only from the community but also from other associations.
In the end, both parties reached an agreement in which the plaintiff dropped all charges against GNOME and further agreed to "not sue further for any patent infringement" and for his part Rothschild Patent Imaging has pledged not to sue any open source project the code of which is provided under an open license approved by OSI. The commitment covers the entire Rothschild patent portfolio. Details of the terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Recall that the plaintiff proposed to withdraw the lawsuit in exchange for the purchase of a license to use a patent, but GNOME did not accept the agreement and decided to fight to the end, as the allocation would jeopardize other open projects that could become victims of said patent troll. To fund the protection of GNOME, the GNOME Patent Troll Defense Fund was created, raising more than $ 150,000 of the required $ 125,000.
Shearman & Sterling was hired by the GNOME Foundation to raise funds to protect it and filed a lawsuit in court to completely dismiss the case, as the patent in the case is invalid and the technologies described in it are not applicable to protect the intellectual property of the software. In addition, the very possibility of applying this patent to make claims about free software was questioned. In conclusion, a counterclaim was filed to invalidate the patent.
Later, Open Invention Network (OIN) joined the defense to protect the Linux ecosystem of patent claims. OIN has assembled a team of lawyers to invalidate the patent and launched an initiative to find facts about the prior use of the technologies described in the patent (State of the art).
Finally, if you want to know more about the case, you can consult the details In the following link.