Ubuntu: Patent Policy and Private Support

Aug 06, 2009

Ubuntu has introduced a new Patent Policy to help developers and rights holders deal with software patent issues. With the Private Support, Canonical hopes to improve its revenue.

Canonical's shop now offers three support packages for the desktop version of Ubuntu. The basic package, Starter Support, comes with extensive installation support via telephone and email and costs around $55 for one year. Advanced Support contains the same service features but covers more than just installation issues. One year will cost about $115. The Professional package costs almost $220 and comes with support for installation and application, covers virtualization issues and Windows network integration.

All three packages come complete with free upgrades and security updates. As an alternative to the one-year packages three year packages are also available at a slightly reduced price. The support packages are valid world-wide.

Profits from the shop could help Canonical with patent problems. Its new Patent Policy is designed to avoid such problems as far as possible. The policy lists the steps developers and rights holders should take when faced with a possible breach in patent. One clause contained in the policy states that, if Canonical has not heard from the alleged rights holder for an extended period of time and the patent is near expiration, the code will continue to be shipped as normal.

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