Subject: Re: software patents in the wild
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 17 Aug 2005 08:13:29 -0700

Santiago Gala <sgala@hisitech.com> writes:

> 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.

In the U.S., on the other hand, a software patent holder absolutely
could enjoin people from using an MP3 player, if that player were
shown to contain software which violated the patent.  (Of course in
practice that would be merely a threat--the goal would be to settle
with the manufacturer of the MP3 player for some sort of royalty or
other consideration.)

Ian