Cloud hosting provider Rackspace announced on Tuesday that it has named intellectual property law veteran Van Lindberg vice president of intellectual property.
Prior to Rackspace, Lindberg spent six years at Haynes and Boone, LLP in Richardson, Texas where he practiced property and patent prosecution with emphasis on open source licensing. During his time at Haynes and Boone, Lindberg analyzed multiple patent portfolios and provided IP advice and patent prosecution services to early-stage startups.
Lindberg’s expertise plays well with Rackspace’s focus on OpenStack and seems to support the direction that Rackspace is zeroing in on in terms of open source, which is a huge component in its strategy in winning enterprise customers, according to a recent report by IT World on Rackspace’s fourth quarter earnings.
“As the paths for open source and cloud computing intersect rapidly and patent trolling continues to run rampant, Van’s experience in managing patents in open source models will be key to the continued success of the Rackspace open cloud,” Rackspace General Counsel Alan Schoenbaum said in a statement.
Rackspace has had to fend off patent trolls in the past, recently dealing with a claim of patent infringement from PersonalWeb, which alleged Rackspace has infringed on thirteen patents.
Lindberg is chairman of the board of the Python Software Foundation, and has written a book on the open source licensing model, “Intellectual Property and Open Source.”
In 2012, Lindberg was named one of “America’s Top 12 Techiest Attorneys” by the American Bar Association Journal.
“This is an important time for the development of open cloud technology, as a variety of open cloud ecosystems are beginning to take shape,” Lindberg said in a statement. “As the computing model continues to evolve, we look to help shape how the legal community responds to the new ways technology is offered and ensure Rackspace continues to set the pace of innovation within the open cloud revolution.”
While open source can offer a lot of challenges for hosting or cloud providers, it also brings an opportunity of innovation, one that Rackspace clearly recognizes, and is supporting through bolstering its legal team.
Talk back: How do you deal with patent trolls in your web hosting business? Do you think Rackspace made a good move in hiring Lindberg? Let us know in a comment.