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Re: [DotGNU]Re: the .NET API patent issue

From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Re: the .NET API patent issue
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 19:52:17 +0200 (CEST)

Hash: SHA1

Marcus <address@hidden> wrote:

> Could you please explain which APIs are "patent-endangered APIs"?
> This phrase keeps being repeated, but I don't see if defined
> anywhere.

Ok... the cause for concern is the patent applciation called
"Application program interface for network software platform"

The abstract is:

 An application program interface (API) provides a set of functions for
 application developers who build Web applications on Microsoft
 Corporation's .NET.TM. platform. 

In the patent application, MS claims that "the inventors developed a
unique set of API functions for Microsoft's .NET.TM. platform."

I do now know whether the USPTO will agree that developing "a
unique set of API functions for Microsoft's .NET.TM. platform" is a
patentable invention, but rumor has it that the USPTO considers
just about anything to be patentable.

The full text is here:'20030028685'

At first sight it looks like this could completely prevent the use
of both DotGNU and Mono in the US.

However, there are some mitigating factors:

1) MS has promised royalty-free licensing for everything in the
   ECMA standards

2) Some API classes are not endangered because there is nothing
   in them that could possibly qualify as a recent "invention".  This
   category includes in particular System.Windows.Forms

So, some API classes are _not_ endangered by the patent application
because of mitigating factors like 1) and 2).

With US-patent-endagered APIs I mean:

  everything in that "unique set of API functions for Microsoft's
  .NET.TM. platform" which MS claims to have "invented" for which
  there is not a good reason like 1) and 2) why any patents on it
  will not be enforcable.

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
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