“Software patents are evil.” Ask almost any free or open source software advocate, and they’ll tell you that software patents kill creativity and keep computer science from advancing as rapidly as it would if everyone shared their basic work with everyone else, unencumbered by patents or other restrictions. But computer science professor Fred Popowich of Simon Fraser University says this is not necessarily true. So does attorney Larry Rosen, who spent many years as legal counsel for the Open Source Initiative starting (literally) before it had a name.
They have basically started a company that produces OpenSource software, and patents parts of it. They say their motto is “Free for Open Source, everyone else pays”. Not a particularly new idea, but I think it is the first time it is actually being attempted commercially