Subject: Re: software patents in the wild
From: Santiago Gala <>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:23:17 +0200
Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:23:17 +0200
El mié, 17-08-2005 a las 12:37 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull escribió:
> And it could be worse than that.  If what you mean by "not having
> patents" is withdrawing from the Paris Convention/TRIPs, it's quite
> possible that companies with any U.S. presence at all would be subject
> to being sued for infringement if they distribute patented goods
> without license.

(distributable) goods cannot be patented.

What can be patented is ways to manufacture those goods, or improved
ways to perform the function in them.

I'm not sure if distributing the source code of a software implementing
patents would be illegal. In fact, the patent office publishes (hence
distributes) the source code of those patents.

At least in old Europe, what the patent covers is the use of the method
or improved technique to manufacture goods. So, for instance, Thomson is
not even trying to enforce mp3 patents on individuals using OS mp3
players. They could try to do this on people distributing linux
binaries, for instance, but I highly doubt they could do anything on
people distributing just sources (say, a university), no matter how many
patents are there.

Santiago Gala <>
High Sierra Technology, SLU

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