[Mono-list] Web Services and patents

David Waite dwaite at gmail.com
Tue May 31 19:43:20 EDT 2005

There is no application of knowledge on a computer (including writing
a "Hello, World" application) which is completely safe from US patent
lawsuit. There is nothing to prevent someone from having a patent
against the concept of SOAP, or for that matter the concept of XML, or
network-based data interchange. Whether or not these patents could be
struck down in court is another matter.

I suggest you worry less about patents and more about innovation.
Otherwise you will spend so much time learning international patent
law and researching patents that you will never produce anything.
There is no guaranteed safe ground, no matter what programming
language you write your implementation in, or which vendor designed
the API you use. The only sanity comes from not letting the problems
stop you from meeting your potential, and fighting tooth and nail the
problems in the system every chance you get.

-David Waite

On 5/31/05, Pedro Santos Gómez <pedrosantosgomez at yahoo.es> wrote:
> Hi all,
> We're going to start a project which we want to
> develop using Mono. The question is that we are going
> to use Web Services.
> Now, I have mainly 3 doubts about Web Services and
> patents:
> 1st) In the same way I understand that Mono implements
> Windows Forms just for compatibility with .NET, but
> that we can use other gui toolkits (such as GTK# or
> wxNET), or implements ADO.NET for compatibility, but
> we can use GdaSharp, Is there any alternative to the
> .NET stack of Web Services? I mean, an implementation
> of a free library of Web Services (SOAP, not xml-rpc)
> that could substitute System.Web.Services.
> I've read about gnome soup, but in:
> http://cvs.gnome.org/viewcvs/soup/
> I find that las entry is from April 2003, so I'm not
> sure about its current state.
> 2nd) In case there's no mono "alternative", how
> dangerous might be using System.Web.Services in long
> term? I don't need any compatibility with .NET, I just
> want to develop an application which uses Web Services
> in Mono. As far as I understand in:
> http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Licensing
> the Web Services part is not as easy to defend as the
> rest of Mono, and it *could* happen to "remove the
> pieces of code that were covered by those patents",
> keeping Mono as a  great development platform. But how
> could I develop WS?
> 3rd) What would be the worst case in Web Services? All
> I read in FAQs and interviews etc. is that the first
> thing to do in case of problems with patents is
> finding previous art. Being Web Services a standard,
> is it easier to find this? Apache Axis could be an
> example? Or what would be patented are the namespaces
> or something like that?. If this is not possible, I've
> read the next step is to try to change the
> implementation. What does this exactly mean? Different
> API doing the same thing? Or it would be changed just
> inside?
> thank you so much for reading and of course for
> answering, and sorry if my english is not as good as
> could 0:-),
> Pedro
> P.S: I've already read this thread:
> http://galactus.ximian.com/pipermail/mono-list/2003-February/012111.html
> but I'm not sure I get a clear answer, and at that
> time maybe the implementation of web services was not
> as complete as now.
> P.S.2: I don't pretend to create any kind of flame
> with patent issues or something like that, I just
> think that *maybe* patent issues might be even
> smoother with Web Services and I just would like
> anybody to confirm or deny this. Thank you again.
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