Fwd: Re: [clug] FOSS patent infringements

Simon Pascal Klein 4pascal at tpg.com.au
Wed May 16 07:50:26 GMT 2007

Microsoft has nothing to gain from patent lawsuits as they are too
expensive whilst it is exceedingly difficult to prove which programmer
wrote which infringing feature and ultimately I doubt there are many
hackers in the foss community that have several million dollars stashed
away somewhere awaiting Microsoft lawsuits.

Simply MS, other than frightening us and reminding the consumer world
that they own they still have a good grip on the software landscape, is
in their own interest not to actually follow these threats of possible


On Wed, 2007-05-16 at 11:15 +1000, Jason wrote:
> All these piles of mysterious patents really confuse me, maybe someone who actually understands it properly could do a talk on what a poor open source developer need to know one month.
> For instance the difference between copyright, trademark and patent, a companies logo is automatically copyrighted but they can can apply for it to be trademarked or maybe registered? How do you differentiate between a graphical concept like a logo and an equally graphical concept like a user interface which can be apparently patented?
> There are also fair use provisions in copyright, (I think you can quote up to 10% of a copyrighted document) are there any such provisions involved with patents?
> If I have no money and I am making a free (as in beer) product, what can the big evils actually sue out of me?
> A confused Jason
> On Wed, 16 May 2007 10:40:00 +1000, Chris Smart <chris at kororaa.org> wrote:
> > Hash: SHA1
> >
> > "Open-source programs step on 235 Microsoft patents, the company said.
> > Free Linux software violates 42 patents. Graphical user interfaces, the
> > way menus and windows look on the screen, breach 65. E-mail programs
> > step on 15, and other programs touch 68 other patents, the company said.
> > The patent figures were first reported by Fortune magazine.
> >
> > Microsoft also said Open Office, an open-source program supported in
> > part by Sun Microsystems Inc., infringes on 45 patents."
> >
> >
> > [...]
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