Innovation, cooperation and the sharing of ideas are fundamental to the success of the free software community. As several notable lawsuits came to light throughout 2011, the free and open source software community saw aggressive use of patents to restrict choice and unfairly impair market forces. We'll see how the US patent system got to where it is in relation to software in particular and discuss what's already been tried and what's currently being done to protect free operating systems.
Have you ever wondered what's at stake, how much money is changing hands, who is at risk and what can help? Defensive patent pools leverage the patents of a few to ensure protection for the group against patent trolls and other aggressors. We'll see how shared preemptive resources like Prior Art and Defensive Publications can help defend Linux, GNU and related projects.