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RE: [DotGNU] the .NET API patent issue

From: José Ignacio Merino Martín
Subject: RE: [DotGNU] the .NET API patent issue
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 16:13:18 +0200

The code doesn't matter. In US you can patent an algorithm, or a prime
number (it's true, there's a prime number patented for an encriptation
algorithm and no one can use it without pay), or the "one click buy" of
Amazon, of the gif format, ...

I don't know what is patented by Microsoft in his .NET. If the concept
of Assemblies or the CLR or the MSIL file format has been patented,
there's nothing to do inside the US. Even if no one line of your code
agrees with the microsoft code, you are infringing the patent law.

The RSA algorith is different. In US you can't patent your invent if you
publish it. In UE, you have a period of grace of 2 month between the
publish and the patent. RSA algorith was publish before had been patent.

And in the rest of the world, people can use the RSA algorith. Only in
US exits export restrictions about the products that use that algorithm.

In, you can find information about the situation
of patent law in EU.

-----Mensaje original-----
De: jscottb [mailto:address@hidden 
Enviado el: viernes, 10 de octubre de 2003 15:26
Para: address@hidden
Asunto: Re: [DotGNU] the .NET API patent issue

I'm a US developer, and have this question:

If the code is developed "Outside" the USA, then can I use it "Inside"
the USA (probably not I would guess)?  I remember the RSA code would
only allow use in the US and not out, so this is why I ask.

Me thinks we should patent Breathing, and sue the rest of the corporate


On Fri, 10 Oct 2003, Norbert Bollow wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Marcus,
>   you misunderstood what I wrote.  The one piece of work which we will

> be able to accept only under the condition that we know that it was 
> done outside the US is the "design of alternatives to the 
> US-patent-endangered APIs".  It is of criticial importance for the 
> future of DotGNU that this part is done in a legally bulletproof way. 
> The lawyer said that specifically this part of the work has to be done

> outside the US, and that the developer who does this must "never bring

> the work with him to the US".  However, in the current situation "he 
> need not do any more than that" in order to "avoid direct liability".
> So, since the laywer said that this particular part of the work needs 
> to be done outside the US, I'll insist that it must be done outside 
> the US.
> I strongly recommend to US residents who would like to assist the 
> Portable.NET efforts to either stick to the not-patent-endangered 
> parts such as e.g.
> - - everything that is in the ECMA standards
> - - System.Windows.Forms (not affected by the .NET API patent issue
>   because there is no non-obvious invention in making thin wrappers
>   aournd a w32 API which is too old to be affected by the .NET API
>   patent issue)
> - - pnetC - porting glibc for use with cscc
> - - implementing the "alternatives to the US-patent-endangered APIs"
>   once they have been designed.
> I'm not saying that code contributions on US-patent-endangered stuff 
> would be rejected.  The decision on what code is accepted into the 
> pnet codebase is ultimately made by Rhys, far away from the US in a 
> nice country where US patents have no legal force.  If something is 
> good and useful code but doesn't really fit into pnet we can create 
> another "DotGNU development project" for it (which of course would 
> also be "not based in the US":).  Just because the US has a broken 
> legal system in which software patents are accepted, we don't want to 
> tell the rest of the world to not enjoy freedom rights they can 
> legally have.
> However I will personally very strongly advise US residents to seek 
> legal advice before contributing to US-patent-endangered code.  It 
> seems that the FSF lawyers are so busy that I can get gratis legal 
> advice from them only on matters which are of key importance to the 
> future of DotGNU.  Finding _some_ way how the DotGNU project can work 
> around the .NET API patents issue, without personal liability of 
> contributing developers, and without risk for the long-term future of 
> DotGNU, that is clearly important enough.  Resolving any reasonable 
> concerns of possible personal liability from contributing to DotGNU in

> ways in which we recommend, that is clearly important enough. However 
> if a US resident wants to contribute to implementing 
> US-patent-endangered APIs, that is not something that I recommend, and

> I do not think that I'd be able to obtain legal advice from the FSF 
> lawyers on how to do it safely.
> Marcus <address@hidden> wrote:
> > So US citizens are not welcome to assist to Pnet?
> >
> >
> > On Friday 10 October 2003 5:24 am, Norbert Bollow wrote:
> > > Hash: SHA1
> > >
> > > We have obtained legal advice on how to go about creating legally 
> > > bulletproof alternatives to the US-patent-endangered APIs.  In a 
> > > nutshell, the design part has to be outside the US (and whoever 
> > > does it should never take the fruit of this work with him into the

> > > US), however the FSF patent lawyer says that implementing those 
> > > replacement APIs in terms of already-exiting free libs will be 
> > > "entirely safe", even for developers in the US.
> Greetings, Norbert.
> - --
> Founder & Steering Committee member of
> Free Software Business Strategy Guide   --->
> Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet (near Zurich, Switzerland)
> Tel +41 1 972 20 59        Fax +41 1 972 20 69
> Version: GnuPG v1.2.2 (GNU/Linux)
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