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Re: Patents != patents ?



On Fri, 2006-09-29 at 07:57 -0500, Tom 'spot' Callaway wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-09-29 at 12:33 +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> 
> > I fail to understand this issue - I don't see how them holding patents
> > matters at all:
> > 
> > The authors are selling a product and grant their product's users
> > certain rights to use their product (aka. "License").
> > 
> > I my understanding, this license also means _them_ granting _their_
> > users certain rights to use _their_ intellectual property as part of
> > their works. Wrt. to this, I don't see how a patented algorithm would be
> > any different from copyright.
> 
> IANAL, but I do know that patents are quite different from copyright
> under US law.
Definitely true, as far as details are concerned, but is the overall
effect any different?

They know they own patents, they know their product uses them, they know
their product contains them, they "sell" their product under certain
terms of usage (== license), clearly describing their intentions (OSS,
BSD licensed).

Common sense tells this should be sufficient: It's the copyright/patent
holder's intention to let users use their work/product under the BSD
terms of conditions.

> The BSD license (unless they added some wording) doesn't provide an
> unlimited, irrevocable, and royalty-free patent grant to software
> patents implemented in the code.
Well, nothing is unlimited, irrevocable - ever ;)

Copyright holders only claim copyrights, but others can fight copyrights
at court. Laws might void certain parts of a license, which could void a
license entirely and can force authors to revoke/change licenses.

The same applies to patented algorithms. The authors say "BSD-licensed".
I.e. their product (== the source code) is usable under the BSD terms of
usage.

The only difference to many other packages out there is them knowing
their sources to apply a patented algorithms and them mentioning it
somewhere. 

I am sure, many other packages contain patented algorithms, but either
the authors don't know about this fact or the authors (patent holders)
don't mention it.

Ralf



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