[Mono-list] Re: someone, please clear out that patents issue
Fri, 14 Feb 2003 08:21:49 -0800 (PST)
--- Mitchell Skinner <email@example.com> wrote:
> They're enumerating the structure of the BCL, painfully verbosely but
> reasonably accurately.
> claim 5: "creating Web applications" => System.Web and descendents
> claim 6: "construction and use of web services" => System.Web itself
> claim 6: "temporary caching of frequently used resources" =>
> claim 6: "initial configuration" => System.Web.Configuration
> claim 6: "creation of controls and web pages" => System.Web.UI
> claim 6: "security in Web server applications" => System.Web.Security
> claim 6: "access to session state values" => System.Web.SessionState
> They go this way through most (all?) of the .NET class library, and if
> the patent is granted any attempt to implement a compatible class
> library will undoubtedly violate the patent. IANAL, but you don't need
> a lawyer to tell you that the sky is blue.
> There are several potential responses to this patent application:
> 1. "There is no way it will be granted." -- Hello, this is the USPTO
> we're talking about.
> 2. "Microsoft won't sue, because it's not in their best interest." --
> Not now, because doing so would hurt .NET's adoption. Instead, they
> will wait until the .NET class library is pervasive, and huge amounts of
> software has been written to that API, to kill competing
> implementations. They will kill competing implementations because
> alternatives to their platform monopoly weaken their market power, and
> threaten their business model.
> 3. "Compatibility is not our main goal, anyway." -- This may be true
> for Ximian, but if the goal of compatibility goes away so will a huge
> amount of interest (and participation) in mono.
Note that this option is not even available if the USPTO grants this patent and Microsoft decides
to enforce it. The patent does not just cover non-ecma api's it also covers may parts of the core
libraries. This is basically a patent on the entire collection of .NET class libraries ... both
ECMA and non-ECMA. The ECMA parts are of course subject to the RAND policy, but AFAIK, RAND means
'reasonable and non-discriminatory' which != royalty free :(
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