With the increasing no of patents being filed by software giants, how is that popular programs like say - mozilla, php,gcc, gimp, even the linux kernel manage to avoid them?

i have heard of the ibm vs sco case, but it still surprise me that ms, sun and ibm have thousands of patents in their software which compete with this open source stuff, then how is it that the gnu guys never manage to step on even one of them?
Cause the financial penalty of even stepping on one can wipe out the whole project.
Posted on 2004-04-24 13:12:16 by clippy
Because they are careful only to use unpatented dinosaur technology? :grin: - seriously though, you see functionality removed in some GPL programs because of patents - like the gif libraries not supporting LZW.
Posted on 2004-04-24 15:01:21 by f0dder

Cause the financial penalty of even stepping on one can wipe out the whole project.


Software patents are not valid in the large majority of earth's surface (fortunately, IMHO).

It seems that there is a lot of MS money to feed SCO against IBM but that's another story and I don't pretend just another flame war here about the topic. Only the time will tell.

But as the future cannot be predicted, there are some insurance firms that are offering sue-risk products for major clients of open-source products. Just in case...


Please note that patent is different to have your rights reserved. Software patents are (still) no valid in European Union, for example.
Posted on 2004-04-24 16:32:32 by pelaillo
If you have read the EULA agreement for m$ complers, you are bond to ONLY develop for m$ systems. So in that sence they don't use m$ pro complilers. And as F0dder said they use code that is generally accepted as non-patented. IE the improvement on arithmatic compression - patent held by IBM, yet the original arithmatic compression code it considered non pantebted.

Ex. So in how many diffrent ways can you read memory? They may not patent something trival due to the ease of comimg up with it. Pantents only hold up if you can SHOW creative creation within your code. IE a non obvious approach to the same methods that allow you to have an IMPROVEMENT upon a standard.

They guy that made the car can say patent the engine... but after he passes way and then an aditional 60 years after his death (if patent not inherited) then that becomes the base, and additions may be patented.

In essence, patentship is to protect the creator and to a lesser extent his creation - that is why after death + 60 years the patent falls away.
Posted on 2004-04-24 17:54:50 by Black iCE
"MS", not "M$" :). And I don't think you're bound to develop for only MS OS'es with the MS tools, that only applies to the MASM versions from the DDK. Neither commercial license masm nor visual C++ (even the vctoolkit2003) have these restrictions afaik.
Posted on 2004-04-24 20:05:45 by f0dder
Sooo sorry then about the MS tools example then, but anyway what do you think.... i don't suppose you can just port Windows software stright onto linx. So that part of the discussion does not consirn me very much. {a tecnicallity even if you were original in your software design}

So, about the patentship terms f0dder what are your view? those were my view about patentship, and i do accept being corrected :grin: - how else to i learn???

Anyhow when through *some* doc's in "Programmers heaven" when i just started out - about patentship, just to make me aware about some things. Algo's mainly.

I will consult a patent laywer first if i would like to release anything developed... you never know.

Example: JPEG libaries... why don't you think arithmatic is used but a hufmann implementation instead mmmmmmmm.... :notsure: could yeald about a 20% increase in compression!!

Cause IBM is claiming rights to the actual entropy coder of arithmatic compression. There were non-compercial lib's out using arithmatic compression in JPEG for educational use only.
Posted on 2004-04-24 20:43:32 by Black iCE

"MS", not "M$" :). And I don't think you're bound to develop for only MS OS'es with the MS tools, that only applies to the MASM versions from the DDK. Neither commercial license masm nor visual C++ (even the vctoolkit2003) have these restrictions afaik.


You can use the toolkit for anything, the redistributables are NOT allowed to be used on anything but a MS operating system.
From section 3.1, LICENSE RESTRICTIONS -- DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS
(ii)?that the Redistributables only operate in conjunction with Microsoft Windows platforms;
Posted on 2004-04-24 21:07:21 by donkey



Software patents are not valid in the large majority of earth's surface (fortunately, IMHO).

Does that mean in those parts of the world you can dl the designs of all the latest innovations from the us patent office and make use of them in your progs???
Posted on 2004-04-25 01:10:25 by clippy

Software patents are not valid in the large majority of earth's surface (fortunately, IMHO).


We can only hope that it will change soon and they will be recognized everywhere. Think about the day when a GNU project comes up with a radical new way of doing something and MS can't just download the source and use it in Word !!!
Posted on 2004-04-25 01:18:16 by donkey
I don't know if I'd agree with that logic, surely patents and GPL don't mix.
Posted on 2004-04-25 08:05:55 by Eóin
Any answers to my question????
Posted on 2004-04-25 08:41:55 by clippy

You can use the toolkit for anything, the redistributables are NOT allowed to be used on anything but a MS operating system.

Hm, I thought there weren't any redistributables in the toolkit :)


We can only hope that it will change soon and they will be recognized everywhere. Think about the day when a GNU project comes up with a radical new way of doing something and MS can't just download the source and use it in Word !!!

I think GNU have copied more from MS than the other way around - really, why would MS want to make their products even slower and more bugged? ;)
Posted on 2004-04-25 09:46:10 by f0dder
Patents are not the same thing as having your rights reserved. The law in (quite) all countries protect your work from being copied, but this has nothing to do with patents.

You are talking about patenting ideas!!! The danger is similar to that caused by Middle Ages Obscurantism.

Please read how Europe has won a very important political battle on this field the last year:

http://www.fsfeurope.org/associates/associates.en.html

And a simple explanation why this is so important:

http://www.europe-shareware.org/pages/pr_swpat2_e.html
Posted on 2004-04-25 11:14:21 by pelaillo

"MS", not "M$" :). And I don't think you're bound to develop for only MS OS'es with the MS tools, that only applies to the MASM versions from the DDK. Neither commercial license masm nor visual C++ (even the vctoolkit2003) have these restrictions afaik.



Where do you come off telling people what thay can and mot say


M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ $M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$ M$
Posted on 2004-04-28 15:14:14 by rob.rice



We can only hope that it will change soon and they will be recognized everywhere. Think about the day when a GNU project comes up with a radical new way of doing something and MS can't just download the source and use it in Word !!!


How do you know there not doing just this right now you (or anyone else) cant dissassembl any thing form M$ by law
the veary thing that would catch this is illegal so even if you did catch them red handed you could not bring them to court (illegal proof can't be used in court)
and no one can look in on there source code to see wether thay are doing this or not
Posted on 2004-04-28 15:26:28 by rob.rice


Hm, I thought there weren't any redistributables in the toolkit :)


I think GNU have copied more from MS than the other way around - really, why would MS want to make their products even slower and more bugged? ;)


thay have ben busted at least 6 times at stealing programs whole copys and slapping there name on them ( there were caught by a copaare of the *.exe files and olny the copy right messages differd )

the olny thing Microshaft woftware dose faster than GNU software is throw something on the screen you have to waite longer befor the software can do something and when it dose it it dose it Slower
What are you talking about there is no Q.C at M$

F0dder YOUR Redmond masters should be well pleased with you!!!!!
Posted on 2004-04-28 15:36:26 by rob.rice
thay have ben busted at least 6 times at stealing programs whole copys and slapping there name on them ( there were caught by a copaare of the *.exe files and olny the copy right messages differd )


Do you have a source for this information?

the olny thing Microshaft woftware dose faster than GNU software is throw something on the screen you have to waite longer befor the software can do something and when it dose it it dose it Slower


Search the web for some head-to-head comparisons of gcc vs MS VC++?
(for example http://www.yasrt.org/benchmark.html)
Posted on 2004-04-28 15:43:42 by Scali

Any answers to my question????


thay keep up on what has be panted and tack the time to find other
ideas to work around the problem a better ansure is at the GNU home page
where thay talk about software patends

Unlike M$ who has a habit of slapping there name on other peoples work
Posted on 2004-04-28 15:50:36 by rob.rice
seriously rob, when is that last time they've done that, apart from the old stacker case? These days, they *buy* the companies, and can thus legally do it. Show us some proof or shut up ^_^
Posted on 2004-04-28 16:52:41 by f0dder

seriously rob, when is that last time they've done that, apart from the old stacker case? These days, they *buy* the companies, and can thus legally do it. Show us some proof or shut up ^_^


november 2003 was the last time I know of ( I haven"t ben looking for those kind of things lately ) that was an image editor or a painting program that was stolen from a Frinch programmer who had tryed to sell it to M$ he won his case because he had copyrighted it 3 months befor M$ came out with it
I have posted 4 links to 4 news storys covering 4 cases going back olny 2 years about that in this forum find them ( I'm not going to keep posting the same things over and over thats a wast of space on this forum and a waste of my effort )

and if thay can't buy the companie (for the price thay want to pay)thay just steal there software

NO you prove thay diden't

but I will see if I can find some new storys about M$ ripping off code or whole programs
Posted on 2004-04-28 18:16:09 by rob.rice