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Software Patents, MapReduce and Open Source

I kept myself away from the whole MapReduce granted patent discussion mainly because I’m European and I don’t understand how the patent system works in US, but also because I am not a lawyer. Anyway, that doesn’t stop me thinking that this event has an important impact on the adoption in the enterprise world of all those NoSQL solutions (f.e. Hadoop, CouchDB, MongoDB, etc.) that are somehow related to this technology.

While I do read that most people believe that Google will use this patent defensively only — there is indeed a group thinking that the patent is void due to being too generic and to existing prior art. But I would argue that for keeping the adoption safe, NoSQL projects whose technology could be related to this patent should ask for a special free and perpetual nonexclusive license just to make sure that this argument will never be used as an excuse for not adopting the technology.

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