Subject: RE: [Freesw]
From: "Ravicher, Daniel B." <>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 11:42:51 -0700


Admittedly, I am a patent lawyer whose view may be skewed, but not
withstanding that fact, I have to respectfully disagree.  IBM (one of the
world's foremost patent holders) is running a full two page ad in MIT's
Technology Review this month discussing nothing other than Linux and how IBM
can develop Linux for specific customer needs.  [If memory serves me well, I
think they say something to the effect of "Don't buy cookie cutter off the
shelf when you can get software that does what you want".]  Also, remember
that Bruce Perens works for HP (another patent superpower).  True, these may
very well not be "average" free software developers, but they definitely are
some of the most notable.


Dan Ravicher
Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison, LLP
1633 Broadway, 47th Fl.
NY, NY 10019
p. 212.315.8032
f. 212.586.7878

-----Original Message-----
From: Seth Gordon []
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2001 7:41 AM
Subject: Re: [Freesw]

   Adam Theo:
   this may seems strange, possibly insane, but as i see
   it, lots of patents, patents that only differ from each other in
   slight, yet effective, ways. having lots of monopoly patents in a
   related field is the next best thing to no monopoly patents at all,

A company with deep pockets (say, in the oil or the pharmaceutical
business) can search for patents that affect its business, hire
lawyers to help its scientists "invent around" other people's patents,
and cut deals with outside patent-holders when necessary.  (Sometimes,
these deals are of the form "we'll let you use our patents if you let
us use yours".)

Your average free-software developer simply does not have the time or
money to do all this.

"Rav would never cross a bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Maybe
will be judged and I will be taken with him.'  Shmuel would only cross a
bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Satan cannot rule two nations
once].'  Rabbi Yannai would examine [the bridge] and cross."  --Shabbat 32a
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