[Mono-list] April 1st: from TechSpeak to PlaneSpeak

Eamon O'Tuathail eamon.otuathail@clipcode.com
Thu, 1 Apr 2004 15:57:31 +0100

Since its April 1st, may I post one message about patents?=20

[If you have any comment to make on the following, feel free to email me
directly. Please do not send a follow-up posting to the mono list, as =
topic of patents has be discussed so often here it is boring many people =
the list. The archives are full of patent discussions.]

                                 - o -=20

It seems free expressionists from April 1st in the year 2084 have
discovered a new way to explain software patents to
non-software authors. It is called PlaneSpeak. They demonstrate it by
examining the Microsoft .NET API Patent:=20


More musings from the futuristic free expressionists will appear =


                                 - o -=20

On a more serious note, it was mentioned on the mono list last month =
the Novell legal folks are conducting a review of patent issues =
MONO: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/4557

It is a joy to watch Novell legal handle SCO (follow the fun at =
e.g. http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=3D20040326223857634) There =
is no
doubt they will leave no stone unturned in their quest to assist MONO. =
free expressionists from April 1st, 2084 would like to nudge Novell =
Legal to
first look under the imaginary stone cryptically marked:

35.102.b @ 0-201-73411-7 @ p.xv[i|ii] & jun2200 < jul1100 & 37 C.F.R. =

They will understand. Perhaps during their patent review they could
determine whether this is important or silly.

                                 - o -=20

I suggest we all hold off on commenting on patents/MONO until the Novell
legal professionals conclude their review and give us their legal =


                                 - o -

Legal people should be able to understand the above cryptic hint on =
own -  so don't show them what follows.=20

Software authors might need some help.

35.102.b is part of the U.S. patent law:
It states: "A person shall be entitled to a patent unless - ...
(b) the invention was ... in public use .. more than one year prior to =
date of the application for patent in the United States"

jul1100 refers to July 11th, 2000 (first day of the 2000 PDC, not by
co-incidence - the date of the official .NET launch to software =
This is a year prior to the filing date for the Microsoft .NET API =
20030028685, on July 10, 2001 (if you look in the patent after the claim
text, you will see it is a continuation of an application with that =
0-201-73411-7 is the ISBN for Don Box's excellent "Essential .NET" book. =

In the preface, page xvii refers to an event a few years earlier and =
"In 1998, Microsoft held a Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) in =
Diego. COM luminary Charlie Kindle stood up in a general session and
proclaimed "no more GUIDs - no more HRESULTs - no more IUnknown." He and
Mary Kirtland proceeded to show the basic architecture of the CLR, then
known as COM+ Runtime. Later in the session, Nat Brown and David Stutz =
up and demonstrated cross-language inheritance using Visual Basic and =
Attendees actually went home with CDs containing primitive versions of
compilers that could reproduce this very odd demonstration. It is now
February 2002, and this technology has finally shipped in release form."
[An aside: anyone recall a MSJ article (a 'printed publication') by =
around the same time?]

jun2200 is the date June 22nd, 2000, which is when the marketing launch =
.NET occurred, at an event known as Forum 2000. Critically it is a few =
more that 365 days prior to July 10, 2001. Did "public use" of .NET =
occur at
this event? Read both of these to see:
(or ask any of the many journalists/analysts who attended and saw for

C.F.R. 1.56 refers to Chapter 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations has =
section entitled:
37 C.F.R. 1.56, Duty to disclose information material to patentability
and it says the inventor(s) and individuals associated with the patent
filing (e.g. company executives) must tell all when applying for a =
It is for the patent examiner, not the applicant, to decide whether it =
important. If the applicant were to "conveniently" forget to mention
something, then a granted patent can be invalidated. Do Mr. Gates and =
Microsoft executives demonstrating on June 22nd, 2000 have a duty of
disclosure to tell the patent office what they did on that day (e.g. =
does a
video tape exist of the presentation?).=20

Page xvi of Mr. Box's book contains a forward by a Mr. Jim Miller (whose
name appears as an inventor on the .NET API patent) saying he has read =
Box's book and highly recommends it (I second that recommendation). The =
that Mr. Miller has read Mr. Box's book is excellent - especially since =
first paragraph opposite his name is what is quoted above - i.e. the =
use of CLR in 1998 in front of thousands of people; and persumably, when
attendees went home and installed it on their PCs and demo'ed it to =
the public use in front of tens of thousands more. Does Mr. Miller have =
duty of disclosure to mention this to the patent office?