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swpat (was: Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC Article about Linux SCO and Copyrights - B

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: swpat (was: Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC Article about Linux SCO and Copyrights - BBC calls for statements (fwd))
Date: 30 Aug 2003 09:14:04 +0100

On Sat, 2003-08-30 at 03:22, Ramanan Selvaratnam wrote:
> Ah! Just saw this! I was not aware that IBM struck back with WMD  (the 
> article is not clear enought on this)

Yup. I also saw somewhere (l'Inq, I think) that because SCO had filed
their copyrights after they filed the litigation, that their damages are
strictly limited to $150,000 or somesuch. If that's the case, they're
going to be paying IBM a large wodge of money in patent fees even if
they are shown to be 100% right. Whoops..

> A clear contemporary revelation of the dangers of a software patent regime?

There is a better one than that out there - Microsoft recently had a
decision against them in the Eolas case. Eolas were awarded $500M (they
had filed for $1.2B) because Microsoft had infringed a patent on
embedded controls with their ActiveX (etc.) technology.

Now, Microsoft are appealing the decision, but the W3C issued a notice
the other day saying Microsoft had approached them to discuss changes
that they might be making to IE. This affects HTML such as <object>,
<embed>, <iframe>, etc. They're basically looking for ways to reduce the
impact. So, while they are appealing, it doesn't look like they give
themselves much chance of success (other than maybe limiting the damages
again, I guess).

> (BTW, does anyone know more about the subject covered by US patent 
> number 5,805,785 ?...serious)


It covers monitoring of clusters from the looks of it. I would guess
anyone doing any serious high-availability work is going to be
infringing it.



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