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Re: Here are some of my ideas for Fedora 8 and Fedora 9



Les wrote:
> On Sun, 2007-07-08 at 15:16 -0500, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
>>
>> On the other hand, what you are talking about with the software is
>> more like removing a patented part, taking it apart, and using the
>> design to build a new part...
>>
> As far as I know that is reverse engineering, and is not prohibited, in
> fact the patent process was originally set up to advance such ideas, not
> to restrict them.  The original license was for a fixed time, to allow
> the inventor to profit from his invention, then release it into the
> public domain.  Somewhere this appears to have been lost in peoples
> perspectives at least.
> 
You can not use reverse engineering to get around a patent. You can
use it to get around trade secrets. You can also use it as a
springboard to create your own design, as long as your design is
different enough from the patented one. Otherwise, why would anyone
bother to license a patent? (The again, the patent application is
supposed to contain enough information that you could build the
patented device from it.)

Now, I don't think software should be patented, and with the recent
rulings on patents, most of them are probably invalid anyway. But
until we get a test case on the legality of software patents, it is
safer to act as if they are legal...

Mikkel
-- 

  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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