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Re: More Patent Threats from Microsoft

Tim Smith wrote:

> In article
> <f4aad2d0-7240-4cf4-9072-6d0d0f405a12@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
>  "nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> > > The FSF has also stated that Linux violates a ton of Microsoft
>> > > patents.
>> >
>> > > Indeed, that used to be one of the major arguments against software
>> > > patents--that any significant open source project would, completely
>> > > accidently, violate a ton of patents, because the patent office is
>> > > letting patents go through that are not sufficiently non-obvious.
>> >
>> > Can you provide a link?
> 
> <http://www.osriskmanagement.com/press_releases/press_release_080204.pdf>
> 
> The author of this study is legal director of the Software Freedom Law
> Center.  RMS mentioned this in one of his talks on software patents:
> 
> <http://www.fsfeurope.org/projects/gplv3/tokyo-rms-transcript.en.html>
> 
> (Although I misspoke slightly--the FSF has not said that Linux *does*
> infringe patents.  The study cited above finds 283 issued patents (27
> owned by Microsoft) that on the face of it cover parts of Linux.  None
> of these patents have withstood a challenge in court, so they might not
> actually be found valid if challenged, and even if they are found valid,
> it is possible that Linux might be found to not infringe).
> 
> ...
>> Tim is right, there was some statement from FSF to this effect---I
>> don't have the reference---but the point was that you couldn't do
>> anything without "violating" patents.  Not just FOSS, of course, it
>> applies to anyone writing software.  However, it's also true that
>> Microsoft has never revealed which patents it is referring to in its
>> threats to sue Linux users.
> 
> Yeah, it's not just FOSS.  Commercial, proprietary software companies
> are not left out--they get letters from patent owners (or, rather, from
> the law firms representing those owners) much more often than they would
> like, listing specific patents that are allegedly violated.
> 
> When I see some company make noise in the press about some patents of
> theirs that they think broadly cover some area I'm working in, I'm kind
> of relieved, figuring that if they really had something worth making
> real trouble over, they'd be doing so.  I figure making noise in the
> press is just for show--make the investors happy, maybe scare their
> competitor's investors a bit.
> 

Thank you for that clarification. I still support the concept of no software
patents at all. The UK government APPEAR to stand by their opposition to
them as well. It's about the only policy of theirs I do agree with!

-- 
The years have been very kind to me.

It's the weekends that have done all the damage!

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