Re: LZW patented file left in .orig.tar source package?
On Wed, 2002-10-23 at 18:35, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> 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.
I'm not so sure -- see below on blueprints.
> > (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
> noninfringing use"
> 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?
I found a case which says that blueprints are components in the sense
meant by (c) (well, actually (f), but it's the same language) above:
Moore U.S.A. Inc. v. Standard Register, No. 98-CV-485C(F), 2001.
I've uploaded it to http://novalis.org/cases/Moore.html -- let me know
if it's garbled in any way.
If blueprints are components, then source code definately is.
GPL Compliance Engineer
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