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By | Lewis Page 22nd December 2014 19:43

Symantec becomes Gold OpenStack member - while suing it

Keep your friends close, and your enemies ...

Symantec has been announced as the newest Gold member of OpenStack, a status the open source effort says means it “pledge[s] strategic alignment to the OpenStack mission.”

But Symantec is also behind patent litigation against other OpenStack members, and is claiming ownership of some of the project's code.

Symantec's tossed code into OpenStack's Keystone identity service and Glance image service, among other efforts.

But it's also thrown some weight behind a non-practicing entity called “Clouding IP LLC” that, as is reported in this court filing (paywalled), attempts to enforce patents on technology that Rackspace baked into OpenStack's Swift storage module and Nova compute module.

But judges haven't been kind to Clouding IP LLC's claims: because while Symantec sold Clouding a licence to do certain things with its patented tech, that licence was not exclusive. Clouding's pursuit of Amazon Web Services, Google and others has faltered on grounds that it's not the one that ought to be litigating: Symantec is the proper plaintiff.

Gold members of OpenStack don't get special influence over the project's code base, but do enjoy greater prominence and more seats at the table.

OpenStack embracing an entity that is also attacking it is an interesting turn of events, if nothing else. ®

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