February 28, 2023 — Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) — acquire patents and then sue companies to attempt to extract a profit. WSOU Investments — also known as Brazos Licensing and Development and a PAE which historically has been active with litigation — intentionally chose the U.S. Western District of Texas Court when it sued Dell, EMC and VMware because that court is relatively pro-patent, tending to rule in favor of the plaintiffs. This time was a different story. Judge Albright tossed out WSOU’s case. This is also significant because the Waco Division Federal Court keeps the busiest patent docket in the U.S. and Judge Albright has presided over 19% of all U.S. patent cases since 2021.
“For more than 15 years, we have worked to limit patent risk from various entities that have sought to impede the progress of Open Source Software (OSS) adoption,” says Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN. “Approximately 5 years ago, we pivoted to focus more of our energy on limiting the ability of PAEs to collect rents from creators, distributors, and users of OSS. The OIN is heartened to see the result of the referenced WSOU case, and through its ongoing investment in the Unified Patents’ OSS Zone, contribute to the weakening of WSOU patent claims relevant to Open Source Software.” Reporter Steven Vaughan-Nichols tells the story in his Open Source Watch newsletter.