After being hit with a patent-infringement lawsuit last month, the GNOME Foundation has fired back with a counterclaim – and urged the courts to dismiss the case. In a memo this week, the non-profit org said Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) – a patent assertion entity (PAE) it characterizes as a “patent troll” – had filed an infringement claim regarding the foundation’s Shotwell image management application in a US district court in California. “It’s the first time a free software project has been targeted in this way, but we worry it won’t be the last,” the GNOME Foundation said. Companies facing such claims have a strong financial incentive to settle, knowing they risk significantly higher costs just to fight the case and perhaps much more if they lose. If GNOME succeeds in standing its ground against RPI, it won’t be the first accused infringer to do so. Both networking kit maker Netgear (case 2:16-cv-01380-RWS) and home security biz Slomin’s (case 2:17-cv-05915-BMC) have filed counterclaims against RPI lawsuits and managed to get their respective cases over the claims dismissed.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht