Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Red Hat Expands Legal Firepower [International]

Open source leader adds two key additions as legal challenges await. It's a sign of the times when a Linux vendor issues an announcement about the hiring of legal talent.

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) today announced that it had hired Rob Tiller as vice president and assistant general counsel, and Richard Fontana, as open source licensing and patent counsel.
The hires could be a sign that the Linux vendor is gearing up for intellectual-property challenges ahead.

Tiller was formerly a partner at Helms, Mulliss and Wicker, where he focused on intellectual property and technology litigation. In his new role at Red Hat, Tiller will handle open source licensing, patent, copyright and trademark law issues.

Meanwhile, Fontana is well known in the open source community for his involvement with the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC). At SFLC Fontana represented the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in the process leading up to the new version of GNU General Public License 3 (GPLv3), released last year.

Fontana will be working at Red Hat as an open source community liaison on licensing matters as well as patent-related issues.

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