Software patents have long been the source of a great deal of concern in the free software community; patents are by far the biggest restraint on our ability to program our own computers. Those who worry about these things have expected that attacks might come from patent trolls, or from software companies with fading prospects. Apple's lawsuit against HTC shows that the real threat may come from a different direction. HTC is not normally thought of as a Linux company; it is a Taiwanese manufacturer which provides cellular phone handsets to a number of other companies.

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