[Mono-list] something general about software patents

Richard Torkar richard.torkar@htu.se
Thu, 14 Mar 2002 19:09:28 +0100 (CET)

On Thu, 14 Mar 2002, Dan Lewis wrote:

>  --- Richard Torkar <richard.torkar@htu.se> wrote:
> > I have experience from software patents and the short answer is YES. They 
> > want to cover as much as possible.
> Makes sense, I guess :) On a more serious note perhaps you could shed some
> light on an issue that's bothering me, as someone with little experience of
> patents and the ins and outs of pflegening.
> My gut feeling is that digging into the USPO's crates to examine Microsoft's
> .NET-related patents is as dubious as decompiling their code or looking at
> their shared source implementation. I realize that people want to avoid
> accidently implementing a feature or algorithm that's covered by a patent, but
> how are you honestly going to prove that you weren't influenced by what you
> saw?

Good point.

That is one reason for why a developer for a company or an 
open_source/free_software project should not read patents covering that 
exact type of technology. If they are not owned by the company (s)he is 
working for ;)

> Do the Ximian team or any other list members have access to some legal
> resources, so we could find out what the best policy on this is? Like I said,
> my gut feeling is that we should implement now (of our own ingenuity) and
> correct later. At least that way we can't be accused of violating patents
> knowingly -- bearing in mind that determining patent violation seems a very
> subjective process. Until then it may be best not to post patent details to
> this list.

The problem with the companies I know about, is that it would cost us a 
minimum of $20,000 :)


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