Subject: Re: [boost] Conflict with patent
From: Darryl Green (darryl.green_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-07-24 03:00:26
On Thu, 2010-07-22 at 18:42 +0100, John Reid wrote:
> John Reid wrote:
> > Darryl Green wrote:
> >> On Wed, 2010-07-21 at 08:32 +0100, John Reid wrote:
> >>> ... it is a bad idea to write to a public list
> >>> describing your work and identifying the patent. All these lists are
> >>> easily searchable and your legal position can't be better if it can
> >>> be shown you were aware of the patent.
> >> Maybe. On the other hand, a credible invalidity argument does help in
> >> avoiding willful infringement. In that vein I thought it might be worth
> >> mentioning this
> >> http://web.archive.org/web/20010508065835/http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/algorithms/cbtree.html
> How can wilfull infringement be shown, if no one knows you were aware of
> the patent?
It can't. I was only suggesting that your concern was presumably around
the willful infringement issue and that (given that the work is already
being discussed on a public list) a constructive thing to do would be to
provide a credible invalidity argument (something the OP would seem to
have started to do in hist first post, but there wasn't any citation of
any public record/disclosure of his earlier work).
The "maybe" is that I am personally unsure, in the circumstances we are
talking about (software patents in general, and broad claims on
algorithms not specific to a particular/narrow field of application in
particular) whether the risk to an individual in the OPs circumstances
is actually significant. This applies even more when that individual is
Spanish, not in the US.
Beyond all that, I think it is helpful that these sorts of issues are
discussed openly, when they relate to submission of open source code (to
Boost or anywhere else).
I also belatedly realised that the patent examiner for the patent in
question had cited the same web page I did. This has its good and bad
points... Looking at it optimistically, unless Francisco's code uses
something not disclosed on that page, but that is disclosed in the
patent claims, it would seem there is no issue.
But - whatever - ianal - don't rely on any of this....
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