At 10:04 AM 3/31/2009, Michael Reichenbach wrote:

>Otherwise I would say that if you are scared of Microsoft patents then
>you can publish nothing you have developed. Because

You should really read up before you make such statements...

>1) Not only Microsoft has patents, many others have also.

That is correct...

>2) Microsoft is not the only patent nitpicker.

That is correct for the most part as well...

>5) Microsoft has still the FAT patent and used it to extort TomTom recently.

Microsoft does not have a 'FAT patent'. It has exactly 4 patents 
which in fact are in regards of long file names on FAT32

- 
<http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5745902>U.S. 
Patent 5,745,902 Method and system for accessing a file using file 
names having different file name formats
- 
<http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5579517>U.S. 
Patent 5,579,517 Common name space for long and short filenames
- 
<http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5758352>U.S. 
Patent 5,758,352 Common name space for long and short filenames
- 
<http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=6286013>U.S. 
Patent 6,286,013 Method and system for providing a common name space 
for long and short file names in an operating system

There is no patent on the actual technique and data structures used 
to handle/maintain FAT12/16/32 FAT tables (and the DOS standard 8.3 
type file names)

Also, IBM holds a patent for non-DOS extensions in the use of FAT file systems
<http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5367671>U.S. 
Patent 5,367,671 System for accessing extended object attribute (EA) 
data through file name or EA handle linkages in path tables.

>6) There are even more patents then laws. If you want to read and
>understand all patents and have them in back mind while programming...
>That's simply not possible because ordinary human brain can not remember
>so many things at the same time (already theoretically assumed that you
>can even understand the patents).

Patents are "work" protected by laws...

>7) Patents are prohibitions only. It's like "do this not, do this not,
>do this not, etc.". Humans brain works on imagination, it's not possible
>to imagine "nothing" because the whole life exists and it is always
>"something". "Keep of the grass!" as a alone sentence is not effective,
>rather it should be "Use the footpath." because this is something you
>can imagine. It's not possible to invert or implement something if you
>brain is full with "don't do this" while at the same time there is not
>alternative "do it like this" for so many things.

You have to obey the laws that protect the patents. If you like it or 
not. If not, you have to be ready to face the consequences. That 
there might not be immediate consequences for everyone doesn't mean 
that you can just disobey the laws...

> >>From that view it's not possible for non-cooperates (individual hobbyist
>projects) to develop and publish software. You would always need a legal
>department which is telling "it's ok to violate patents, if them are are
>accusing us we will accuse them with out collection of patents or we
>will let us extort and pay them", followed by "as long no one accusing
>us it's all fine". In a cooperate you have as a programmer the
>additional advantage that the legal department exists out of lawyers and
>in case of court ruling only the cooperate is sued but not the
>individual programmer.

Just because you are not a "business entity" doesn't mean that laws 
don't apply to you.
In regards to "having a legal department", that's why the OSF has one 
for Open Source projects...

Ralf 


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