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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- "Microsoft Patents FUD Report: Who is Actu


From: Lee Hollaar
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- "Microsoft Patents FUD Report: Who is Actually Slinging it?"
Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 11:25:26 -0600 (MDT)

In article <address@hidden> address@hidden writes:
>
>Lee Hollaar wrote:
>[...]
>> If there is a single way (or maybe a very, very limited way) of
>> expressing an idea, it is said that the idea and the expression
>> have "merged" and therefore the expression is not protectable by
>> copyright.
>> 
>> That has nothing to do with whether there is a patent that covers
>> a method that can be implemented in software.  There is, in general,
>> a variety of ways to implement ("express") the method, and therefore
>> each implementation can have its own copyright.
>
>There is a whole bunch of patents boiling down to just a few tiny
>functions. See, for example
>
>http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6,993,770.PN.&OS=PN/6,993,770&RS=PN/6,993,770
>
>Can you come up with a variety of ways to implement it (variables 
>names apart)?

Sure.  There are different ways, for example, to maintain the
"respective reference counts."  Each would be copyrightable as
long as it was original.

That's not to say that any of them would not infringe the patent.
Patents are a right to exclude, so just because you have a copyright
doesn't mean that you won't infringe a patent.  (Also, just because
you have a patent doesn't mean that you can practice that invention
without infringing another patent.)


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