Stephen J Baker wrote:
> On Wed, 27 Jun 2001, Branko Collin wrote:
> > On 27 Jun 2001, at 14:47, Simon Budig wrote:
> >
> > > I just had contact to Mr. Soquat, a member of the staff from the
> > > german Ministry of Economics and Technology [1]. He is very interested
> > > in how patents are a problem for free software.
> The true inequity of the Unisys patent is not 'obviousness'.  It's
> that they waited until every web site on the planet was using
> GIF before they started to enforce it.  That gave them the maximum
> chance for royalties.

While I agree with what you're saying (except for the patenting of any
maths algorithm being reasonable), it's not really a problem for us
gimpers, whereas the patenting of colo(u)rspace algorithms is. Isn't it
cmyk that we can't implement because of a patent/copyright issue? Or am
I confusing it with something else? 

The effect of software and mathematical patents is the exact opposite of
academic publication of these algorithms. And if someone could explain
to me how R, S and A got a 25-year patent based on academically
published material I'd be much obliged :)

When someone publishes an algorithm it does all sorts of good stuff - it
makes the algorithm available for general use and lets the market &
community settle on it's own standards, it allows others to build on the
work of others without having to start again, and it allows people to
build proprietary products based on the ideas of the scientists (some
might say this isn't good).

When someone patents an algorithm, the challenge is to come up with an
alternative which does the same thing without infringing the patent,
which is a considerable task. The objective is to prevent others from
building on your work, rather forcing them to re-invent the wheel.

And (like Forrest Gump), that's all I have to say about that.


David Neary,               E-Mail [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Palamon Technologies Ltd.  Phone +353-1-634-5059
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