Shearman & Sterling LLP multinational law firm headquartered in New York City, United States.

News May 22, 2020

Pro Bono Victory for GNOME Foundation Against Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Shearman & Sterling secured a victory for GNOME Foundation (GNOME), a pro bono client, in a patent infringement suit filed by Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI). In the walk-away settlement, GNOME received a release and covenant not to be sued for any patent held by RPI. In addition, the Shearman team secured a covenant and release on the Rothschild patent portfolio (more than 100 patents) for everyone in the world for the use of all open source software licenses (as approved by the Open Source Initiative).  

GNOME is a non-profit organization that oversees the GNOME Project, whose goal is to create a computing platform composed of free software.  Last August, RPI sued GNOME in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that GNOME’s Shotwell photo manager software infringed its patent, which claimed mobile devices and methods for receiving images and filtering the images by content before sending the filtered results on to another mobile device. 

In a formal press release following the settlement announcement, Neil McGovern, Executive Director for the GNOME Foundation stated “I’m exceptionally pleased that we have concluded this case. This will allow us to refocus our attention on creating a free software desktop, and will ensure certainty for all free and open source software in future.”

For more information on the case and its significance, visit “Litigators of the Week: Shearman Trio Stands Up for Open Source Software” in The AmLaw Litigation Daily.

The Shearman & Sterling team below also include associate Shannon Dudley.

The Team