Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents
From: <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 11:32:15 +0900

simo writes:

 > No, Thomas position is much more subtle.

 > He say that he wants to treat the GPL program as it were prior art,

My point is that when prior art is applied to the validity of the
patent itself, it has fairly broad application as it bears on novelty
and obviousness.  But novelty and obviousness are not criteria for
determining infringement.  The natural interpretation in the context
of patent infringement is that the embodiment of the claim in GPL
software prevents Alice from suing for infringement of exactly that
claim.

So I guess what you're saying is that Tom's subtlety is the kind of
subtlety involved in jamming a crowbar into the gears, oh so
delicately but all the way in.  He proposes to make *every*
infringement case involving the GPL into a contest equivalent to an
attempt to demonstrate invalidity of a patent.

This also is not a very good PR strategy, because it will involve
getting prominent experts to stand up and say in public, "There's
hardly ever any significant novelty in GPLed software, and it's all
obvious stuff that any college student could implement in an hour."