Re: LZW patented file left in .orig.tar source package?
On Wed, 2002-10-23 at 15:58, David Turner wrote:
> 35 USC 271 says:
> (a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without
> authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention,
> within the United States or imports into the United States any patented
> invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.
Hmm. So much for my watering can.
> (b) Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as
> an infringer.
By not compiling the file, I think we avoid this.
> (c) Whoever offers to sell or sells within the United States or imports
> into the United States a component of a patented machine, manufacture,
> combination or composition, or a material or apparatus for use in
> practicing a patented process, constituting a material part of the
> invention, knowing the same to be especially made or especially adapted
> for use in an infringement of such patent, and not a staple article or
> commodity of commerce suitable for substantial noninfringing use, shall
> be liable as a contributory infringer.
"not a staple article or commodity of commerce suitable for substantial
Source code by itself has substantial noninfringing uses, such as
publication in a standards document or as a description of the
algorithm. The question is whether source code is a "staple article" or
"commodity of commerce".
That's where this all devolves into speculation. Do those words amount
to a fancy way of saying "anything", or is there a class of things that
were intended to be excluded from the coverage of the "substantial
noninfringing use" clause? In other words, does "substantial
noninfringing use" act as an absolute defense in this case?