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Re: Patents and Linux



On Mon, 2004-05-17 at 14:39, Chadley Wilson wrote:

(snip)

> Why would some one patent open source software that an entire community
> is working on. Does this mean we will end up with another Microsoft type product that
> is linux based?

No, what it means is Microsoft is patenting everything in sight, whether
or not they came up with it originally. (A recent slashdot article
claims 10 new patents/day for Microsoft) The overtaxed US Patent office
rubber stamps these without much thought, that means when Microsoft sues
you they are in a position of strength, with you having not only to
prove prior art to have the patent overturned, but you get massive legal
bills that will likely put you out of business (if you had a business to
start with). In this way they have legal tools to further their
monopolistic ways to crush competition, and there is little anyone can
do about it once the legislation is passed.

I believe (but could be wrong) that the language of the European
Software Patent legislation would honor US patents, as well as a whole
slew of existing European Software patents that were issued even though
it was not strictly legal to do so at the time.

-- 
Chris Kloiber




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