Trademark Litigation Attorney Needed – Contingency Fee Case

No, not for me but for Grsecurity.

Important Notice Regarding Public Availability of Stable Patches by Brad Spengler & The PaX Team.

From the webpage:

Grsecurity has existed for over 14 years now. During this time it has been the premier solution for hardening Linux against security exploits and served as a role model for many mainstream commercial applications elsewhere. All modern OSes took our lead and implemented to varying degrees a number of security defenses we pioneered; some have even been burned into silicon in newer processors. Over the past decade, these defenses (a small portion of those we’ve created and have yet to release) have single-handedly caused the greatest increase in security for users worldwide.

….

A multi-billion dollar corporation had made grsecurity a critical component of their embedded platform. This in itself isn’t a problem, nor is it necessarily (albeit extremely unwise) that they’re using an old, unsupported kernel and a several year old, unsupported version of grsecurity that they’ve modified. This seems to be the norm for the embedded Linux industry, seemingly driven by a need to mark a security checkbox at the lowest cost possible. So it’s no surprise that they didn’t bother to hire us to perform the port properly for them or to actively maintain the security of the kernel they’re providing to their paid customers.

They are publishing a “grsecurity” for a kernel version we never released a patch for. We provided evidence to their lawyers of one of their employees registering on our forums and asking for free help with backporting an EFI fix to their modified version of grsecurity based off a very old patch of ours (a test patch that wasn’t even the last one released for that major kernel version). The company’s lawyers repeatedly claimed the company had not modified the grsecurity code in any way and that therefore all the references to “grsecurity” in their product were therefore only nominative use of the trademark to refer to our external work. They would therefore not cease using our trademark and would continue to do so despite our objections. This final assertion occurred three months after our initial cease and desist letter. They also threatened to request “all available sanctions and attorneys’ fees” were we to proceed with a lawsuit against them.

This announcement is our public statement that we’ve had enough. Companies in the embedded industry not playing by the same rules as every other company using our software violates users’ rights, misleads users and developers, and harms our ability to continue our work. Though I’ve only gone into depth in this announcement on the latest trademark violation against us, our experience with two GPL violations over the previous year have caused an incredible amount of frustration. These concerns are echoed by the complaints of many others about the treatment of the GPL by the embedded Linux industry in particular over many years.

With that in mind, today’s announcement is concerned with the future availability of our stable series of patches. We decided that it is unfair to our sponsors that the above mentioned unlawful players can get away with their activity. Therefore, two weeks from now, we will cease the public dissemination of the stable series and will make it available to sponsors only. The test series, unfit in our view for production use, will however continue to be available to the public to avoid impact to the Gentoo Hardened and Arch Linux communities. If this does not resolve the issue, despite strong indications that it will have a large impact, we may need to resort to a policy similar to Red Hat’s, described here or eventually stop the stable series entirely as it will be an unsustainable development model.

If you know a trademark attorney or would like to donate the services of one (large corporations have them by the bag full), consider contacting Grsecurity.

Bottom feeders, as are described in Brad’s post, remind me of the “pigs in their stys with all their backing, what they need is a damned good whacking.”

Please re-post, forward, distribute, etc.

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