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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