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[News] How Free Software is Threatened by Software Patents, Apple Keeps Piling

  • Subject: [News] How Free Software is Threatened by Software Patents, Apple Keeps Piling
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 09:30:20 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

Hugin and patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Source code as such (certainly in the case 
| of compiled languages) does not implement 
| an invention â it merely describes an 
| algorithm. As such, I believe that the 
| source code of a Free Software 
| implementation of some patented algorithm 
| (as if it makes sense to patent an idea, 
| but hey, some patent offices hand these 
| things out) cannot infringe the patent 
| even if you accept the validity of 
| algorithmic patents because itâs just 
| describing something that has already been 
| published â the patent text itself! On the 
| other hand, compiled forms of the same do 
| implement the algorithm in a machine and 
| might be covered. Iâm not sure if anyone 
| has really dug into the implications of 
| the division between source and object 
| code in this area.
| In cases like this, the Open Invention 
| Network might be of use. Itâs a patent 
| pool organization for Linux. Since Hugin 
| isnât part of Linux (as in, the kernel 
| bits) itâs unlikely to be helped out 
| directly. The OIN folks are some of the 
| most pragmatic and sensible people Iâve 
| talked to about the effect (negative) 
| software patents have on us all.
| [...]
| While looking for the SIFT patent, I did 
| find US patent numbers 7,639,897 and 
| 7,711,262 which both cover guiding a user 
| of a digital camera in making a panorama 
| photo. They seem awfully similar to me, 
| although obviously thereâs a giant 
| difference (sarcasm doesnât work in 
| writing unless Penny Arcade does it) 
| between sweeping a scene and then re-
| photographing it and indicating already-
| photographed areas as the scene is swept. 
| I guess thereâs no patent yet on not 
| helping at all.


New iPhone Patents Extend Apple's Control Over Apps, Potentially Squeezing Out Many Developers


Apple Looking Into Location-Temporary Apps



Apple Patent filing portends Google ad war

,----[ Quote ]
| Apple has filed a patent to enable info and
| apps to be automagically loaded onto your
| iPhone/Pod/Pad based on your location - but
| exactly how it would affect location-based
| ads remains fuzzy.
| The patent application, "Location Specific
| Content", was published by the US Patent and
| Trademark office this Thursday, after
| originally being filed in November of 2008.

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