Mark Twain said there were two certainties in life - death and taxes - he missed out a third, if there's a new one of working, or a new way of making money, there will be lawyers sniffing around.

So, the news that a patent attorney has warned that cloud computing users could be facing a patent battle should come as little surprise.As far as I can see, the risk for any accidental patent infringement is minimal - but that doesn't stop this particular brief from sticking his hooter in.

There's not even any pretence that it's a major problem. "It may be a small risk, but it is another issue to consider when assessing the pros and cons of cloud computing, says Nolan Goldberg,

Well, is it? Moving to a cloud-based model is a major step for any organisation and there's plenty to consider. There are a mass of compliance regulations to handle for starters. With a cloud-based model,. there are national and international rules about where data can be stored and those compliance rulings are certain to be a major headache for cloud users (and providers). 

As has been well documented, the problem of cloud security is set to be a major headache for some time. The issues of interoperability, cloud provider lock-in can all be added to the mix of problems too.

Enterprise computing departments are still dipping their toes into the cloud computing waters: it's fair to say that take-up is not matching some of the industry hype but it's early days. But, the last thing that a nascent industry needs, is a lawyer warning of scarcely imaginable problems.

In Shakespeare's Henry VI, in the midst of a rebellion against the established orders, Dick the Butcher says "Let's kill all the lawyers," - a line that is always popular with audiences. And if there are many more interjections by the likes of Mr Goldberg, I'm sure It would certainly be a popular sentiment with cloud providers too.

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