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  M2M website closes in protest of software patents  (Read 10795 times)
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Offline sugarshark

Junior Member




Sugar to the sharks.


« Reply #60 - Posted 2003-09-04 07:52:36 »

Quote
That really makes me feel really comfortable considering that I'm posting this from Mozilla. Luckily I don't develop browser-based Java applications though so I won't miss not having the Java plugin.

Quote
Well I had projects which use IE, Flash, Java, and Director and notice that I lose no sleep at all about this. The companies that need to pay royalities will - and I as a developer don't have to worry about that just like I don't worry about the patents involved in OpenGL.


I think you missed at least some of Williams subtle irony. Who is going to pay the licenses for open source projects?

But the IE/plugin patent case shows another interesting aspect:The crosslicensing practice won't protect the big businesses from small specialized companies whose business case it is to generate patents and then sue the ones they can get the most money from. These shops are not interestet in cross licensing, they only want the money.

I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body.  
Then I realized who was telling me this.
-- Emo Phillips
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #61 - Posted 2003-09-04 13:15:56 »

I'll see if I can find a URL which clearly outlines the facts in the case. This isn't a case where Microsoft was innocent and used a patent that they weren't aware they were using or anything along those lines.

As to open source projects I have yet to encounter an open source that was generating patentable IP material. Some of them contain donated IP, but to date I haven't seen any of them generate anything (including the open source projects which I've been credit too including JBoss - one of the only ones that comes close) that would bypass the novel and non-obvious clauses of patent legislation.

Can someone list an open source project that can't move forward because of patent violations?

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline Matzon

JGO Knight


Medals: 19
Projects: 1


I'm gonna wring your pants!


« Reply #62 - Posted 2003-09-04 13:52:08 »

I can name some that could be made incompatible, if one was to enforce patents. Mono (.NET stuff), MESA (OpenGL extensions), lots of others too - but to sick atm. to think.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline jbanes

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #63 - Posted 2003-09-04 14:36:33 »

Quote
As to open source projects I have yet to encounter an open source that was generating patentable IP material. Some of them contain donated IP, but to date I haven't seen any of them generate anything (including the open source projects which I've been credit too including JBoss - one of the only ones that comes close) that would bypass the novel and non-obvious clauses of patent legislation.


What about OGG/Vorbis? There's nothing obvious about high compression schemes, and they are usually patentable. Prevayler is another project that could probably be patented due to its non-obvious approach to Object Oriented Databases.

Java Game Console Project
Last Journal Entry: 12/17/04
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #64 - Posted 2003-09-04 15:06:33 »

Quote
I can name some that could be made incompatible, if one was to enforce patents. Mono (.NET stuff), MESA (OpenGL extensions), lots of others too - but to sick atm. to think.


I won't get into Mono - because you'd have to be a fool to make an open source implementation of a specification made by a company openly hostile towards open source to start off with. However MESA is perfectly clean with respect to patents including OpenGL extensions because the extensions themselves are NOT patentable. Governing law has already shown APIs to NOT be patentable. ATI however couldn't implement nvidias super sampling in hardware (something nvidia has a patent on). Again, what I'm seeing here is a clear misunderstanding of what is patentable/patented and what isn't.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #65 - Posted 2003-09-04 15:09:16 »

Quote


What about OGG/Vorbis? There's nothing obvious about high compression schemes, and they are usually patentable. Prevayler is another project that could probably be patented due to its non-obvious approach to Object Oriented Databases.


You're correct in terms of Vorbis, and probably a few of the other open source video and audio compression algorithms. They are patentable.

From what I've read of Prevayler it depends entirely on what the CLAIMs are that they make. Having better performance does not make something immediately patentable. Depends on what the claims are.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline jbanes

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #66 - Posted 2003-09-04 17:35:40 »

Quote
From what I've read of Prevayler it depends entirely on what the CLAIMs are that they make. Having better performance does not make something immediately patentable. Depends on what the claims are.


Claims of performance are not patentable. However, their method is. The Prevayler concept is that the object model can only be modified by objects that implement a "Command" interface. These commands are then logged in a serialization stream. So, during the entire running of the database, NO disk access is required for queries (which amounts to accessing the object data you want). Then if the database is restarted, the "commands" are read from a file and replayed thus reconstructing the database on the fly.

While it builds on existing concepts (databases, serialization, audit files, etc.), it is a non-obvious method of dealing with the persistance of object based data. IMHO, the author would most certainly get approved for a patent and could probably get a thesis out of it too.

You should check it out. The whole thing is only about 5-7 classes, so it's very easy to understand. In fact, it's almost more of a framework than a real database. If anyone can ever solve the two biggest problems of OODBs (schema changes and management tools), this thing will probably take off like a rocket.

Java Game Console Project
Last Journal Entry: 12/17/04
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #67 - Posted 2003-09-04 17:42:55 »

Well if that's what they try to claim there is prior art for that one. A company I worked for back in the day Template Software did the same thing so I'm not sure they would be able to patent their specific implementation unless there is something more novel than that. Implementing a pattern out of the BOF Design Patterns book is likely to get you a quick rejection from the patent office.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline Matzon

JGO Knight


Medals: 19
Projects: 1


I'm gonna wring your pants!


« Reply #68 - Posted 2003-09-04 18:55:39 »

Quote


I won't get into Mono - because you'd have to be a fool to make an open source implementation of a specification made by a company openly hostile towards open source to start off with. However MESA is perfectly clean with respect to patents including OpenGL extensions because the extensions themselves are NOT patentable. Governing law has already shown APIs to NOT be patentable. ATI however couldn't implement nvidias super sampling in hardware (something nvidia has a patent on). Again, what I'm seeing here is a clear misunderstanding of what is patentable/patented and what isn't.


Uhm, I think you're mistaking... MESA had to ASK permission to use GL_NV_vertex_program, because nV has a patent on it.

http://www.mail-archive.com/dri-devel@lists.sourceforge.net/msg06008.html
Quote
Vertex programming is in the latest Mesa code (I implemented
GL_NV_vertex program over the winter/spring).  It'll be available
to all DRI drivers when the DRI gets Mesa 4.1.

NVIDIA gave me permission to implement the extension in software only.
But since that time, NVIDIA has announced basically unrestricted
permission to implement GL_NV_vertex_program.  I'll have to talk to
them again someday regarding future DRI hardware implementations.


So, any day nV decides they don't like Mesa, they just remove their permision. Neat.

Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #69 - Posted 2003-09-04 20:36:18 »

Quote


Uhm, I think you're mistaking... MESA had to ASK permission to use GL_NV_vertex_program, because nV has a patent on it.

http://www.mail-archive.com/dri-devel@lists.sourceforge.net/msg06008.html


I assure you I'm not. The law is pretty clear about APIs being reverse engineerable works. Emulators have managed to get around this issue as well as have board game clones. You cannot patent APIs nor rules. You can however patent hardware IMPLEMENTATIONS. If GL_NV_vertex_program in Mesa is doing a software emulation of the nvidia hardware the laws about reverse engineering are still very clear and specific on the matter - which is why many open source projects that want to get around these patents take the APIs and make clean room implementations that don't touch or rely on any knowledge of the original implementation. Sony has lost several high-profile cases to Connectix in this regard as well. You cannot patent recipes, APIs, and the like. You can make them trade secrets and try to copyright them but you absolutely cannot patent them. There are more IP protection schemes that patents out there.

Quote

So, any day nV decides they don't like Mesa, they just remove their permision. Neat.


No, you just do a clean room implementation of it like so many people have done in the past. Just to bring something more to the argument than speculation, here are two cases from the game industry in particular that highlight the truth and not the FUD with respect to these issues.

http://www.lgu.com/cr46.htm

If these don't do for you I can dig up a laundry list of others. Heck there have been recent cases that have overturned parts of DMCA in the protection of reverse engineering and fair use.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Matzon

JGO Knight


Medals: 19
Projects: 1


I'm gonna wring your pants!


« Reply #70 - Posted 2003-09-05 03:25:03 »

ahh, thanks for the enlightentment - and link. I stand corrected.

Offline William

Junior Member




No Exit


« Reply #71 - Posted 2003-09-05 05:32:06 »

Some people here have defended Amazon's one-click shopping patent, saying that it is specific enough to not be the kind of fraud that most observers make it out to be. I would just like to supply a link to the patent so people can judge for themselves: 5,960,411.

Remember that you just need to violate one of the claims to be in violation of the patent. Even the US courts seem to think there's something fishy about the patent though since an appeals court overturned an injunction on the patent with the justification that "BN has mounted a substantial challenge to the validity of the patent in the suit". However, the two parties settled before the actual appeal and that makes sense since BN also benefits if Amazon can use its patent to harass smaller competitors to both of them.

The trial had one good effect though, it dug up enough prior art to make it clear to the EU patent office that the technique in the US patent was not novel and Amazon had to modify their claim to get it into the EU system.

Here are other examples of e-business method patents in the US. And of course the exhibits in the European patent horror gallery (remember, these have already been granted and are ready to be abused to their full extent as soon as the EU politicians let loose the madness).
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #72 - Posted 2003-09-05 13:55:12 »

Quote
Remember that you just need to violate one of the claims to be in violation of the patent.


That's actually not true - you have to violate all of the claims made by a patent in order to be violating it. Many patents will share some of the same claims i.e.

Quote

The method of claim 1 wherein the displaying of information includes displaying information indicating the single action.


Otherwise the patent would have been tossed long ago as many of the claims existed in prior art.

Quote

The trial had one good effect though, it dug up enough prior art to make it clear to the EU patent office that the technique in the US patent was not novel and Amazon had to modify their claim to get it into the EU system.


Yeah its the same as when patents from overseas come to the United States. Once a patent has been established somewhere else - when it comes into a new legislative body, getting it shown as novel is a lot harder. Usually because there is a ton of prior art available.

The real issue with the Amazon patent isn't really an issue with its claims, its really an issue of whether or not that system would be considered 'obvious' to a person at the time that it was issued - and that remains debatable as it was almost a year before anyone pushed out a similar system. But at the time it did fulfill all of the other requirements for being patentable.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline William

Junior Member




No Exit


« Reply #73 - Posted 2003-09-05 16:13:30 »

I meant "claim" in the legal sense. I think the example you gave is just an element of a claim that includes all the elements of claim 1 because of the line "the method of claim 1".

I'm not a lawyer but the people who wrote this text are and they state that you only need to violate all elements of one of the claims to be in violation of the patent.
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #74 - Posted 2003-09-05 17:35:25 »

That is correct I misunderstood your meaning. While I am not an attorney I am currently studying to be one (MBA JD). Patent Law states that in order to infringe on a patent you must practive every element of one of more claims.

In that you are absolutely correct.

The specifics of how narrow that patent is depends entirely on interpretation, but as it sits - the claim is very specific to not having to identify oneself to the system in order to make a purchase - which is counter to the vast majority of the online ordering systems on the internet - as such, most of ecommerce is immune to it.

BTW, I am curious - which firm do the people at chilling effects represent?

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline William

Junior Member




No Exit


« Reply #75 - Posted 2003-09-05 19:27:24 »

Have a look at the About Us page.
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