[Mono-list] Uncertainty and Doubt about MONO

Miguel de Icaza miguel at ximian.com
Sun Nov 5 10:08:02 EST 2006


You have some valid questions, and I have followed up to some of the
concerns similar to this one on my blog:


In addition, Jonathan Pryor has a good entry that explores the issue in
more detail than I have done, and also is a good primer for anyone that
might be confused:

That being said, a few corrections:

> Didn't Miguel de Icaza assured us that Mono was safe, that there are no 
> known patents that Mono infringes, that .NET is an ECMA
> standard, that even if Mono infringes on some patents then the Open 
> Inventions Network will protect it ?

I said the first part;

I also said that Mono was one of the technologies protected by the

> Didn't Miguel said that Novell conducted a whole investigation on 
> Microsoft owned patents and no infringed patents where found ?

I did not say that, and I have no idea where this comes from.

It is not practical to review every patent out there (owned by everyone
out there) and match every claim against every piece of code written in
the source code.

Many patents will likely be invalid, many will have prior art, many will
be unenforceable, many claims are too broad to be valid in court;  So
the only way of "testing" a patent is to go to court.   

This  likely means that a patent holder will need to determine which
parts might infringe, and might have to evaluate what is the cost of
going to court, what are the possible benefits to himself (if you sue
someone that never made any money, what exactly will you win?), and also
what are the risks of a counter-lawsuit?  The patent holder must ask
himself whether the trouble of going to court is worth the price of a
potential counter suit.

Another alternative is to come up with some kind of agreement, "we
believe we own this much IP, we believe you own that much IP" combined
with "we believe we are making this much money, you are making that much

There might be others, and the deals will greatly vary depending on the
cases and usually they cover more than patents (like Novell/MS covers
technical collaborations).


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