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Re: mplayer, the time has come

On Thu, Feb 24, 2005 at 09:55:19PM -0800, Sean Kellogg wrote:
> Doesn't sound like a particularilly compelling defense to me should you ever 
> be sued for patent infringment...  "No your honor, I wasn't aware of the 
> specific patent number, only extensive media coverage, e-mail discussions, 
> and filed name patents.txt.gz."

The vast majority of patents are not discussed or covered by the media at
all; only very high profile ones.  The rest, the details of which for the
most part I'm entirely unaware of, I wish to keep that way--knowing about
a few of them at random isn't going to do me any good.

> The treble damage penalty is not mandatory and is aimed at big corporations 
> using patents of other big corporations.  As an equitable doctrine, us little 
> guys in the shadows (even companies owned by us little guys in the shadows) 
> are not going to face the wrath of trebble damages.
> And like I said...  patent infringment must be willful.  More than 50% of 
> patents get overturned when they go to court, so unless the patent in 
> question has already been held up in court (which the ones in that file have 
> not, if you read the file), its more likely than not that you weren't even 
> violating it, much less willfully :)

You're saying, in short, "it might not be a problem to read a patent
description".  What I'm not seeing is "it's just fine to read a patent
description that you didn't already know about", nor am I seeing any
good that can come out of doing so.

If you want to contradict the very common advise of "don't read about
patents", you need to give much more solid reasons to do so.

Glenn Maynard

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