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Re: lzw code & patent

On Thu, 2003-03-06 at 18:52, Drew Scott Daniels wrote:
> I'm cc'ing debian-legal for the legal part of this discussion.
> LZW was a patented algorithm which was included in Unix's compress and
> some versions of the gif file format.
> There may not be reason to exclude lzw and related code as the LZW
> patent is "running out".
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/debian-legal-200211/msg00160.html
> I hope that this will be discussed further on debian-legal. I also am
> curious as to whether Unisys can collect royalties after their patent runs
> out. I suspect this may be illegal, or at least immoral. I also wonder
> about whether patent laws can be used from one country on another.
> Regardless, I don't think it's too important as long as we make sure
> Debian doesn't do anything illegal.

35 USC 286 says that patent holders can go after infringers for *six
years* after the patent expires.  Of course, there's no infringement
possible after the patent exprires (excluding certain bizarre rules
surrounding bioequivalent generic drugs).

-Dave Turner                     Stalk Me: 617 441 0668

"On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters 
of principle, stand like a rock." -Thomas Jefferson

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