[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: mplayer, the time has come

On Thursday 24 February 2005 10:08 pm, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> That's always a joke. These things are meaningless to big
> corporations; patent penalties are just a slap on the wrist to
> them. Their only significant application is when big corporations with
> big mobs of lawyers go after little guys.

I don't believe that Microsoft's $500,000,000 judgment in the Eola case was a 
slap on the wrist.  And like I said, the issue here is NOT penalties, its 
equitable injunction.  Debian and others would be barred from using the 
patent.  Find me a case where the "big corporation" goes after the "little 
guys" for any sizable money damages.

In the mean time, I figure I have access to some of the United State's 
brightest legal minds on the issue of patents (yes, I understand the irony 
here...  believe me when I say that my fellow patent students got a very 
different experience than most as my professor and I yelled at eachother 
about the merits of software patents) at my finger tips...  so I've bounced a 
question over to her as to this treble damage issue.  We'll see if she has 
anything to say about what it means to "willfully" violate a patent.  I'll 
preface it now, as I will again when I report on what she says, this is not 
legal advice and should not be construed as such, I am not a lawyer yet and 
she is not acting as any sort of legal counsel to this list, Debian, or any 
poor developer who may cross paths with this e-mail while doing a google 
search on '$500,000,000' + 'treble'.  

I hate having to write that all the time...


Sean Kellogg
2nd Year - University of Washington School of Law
GPSS Senator - Student Bar Association
Editor-at-Large - National ACS Blog [http://www.acsblog.org]
c: 206.498.8207    e: skellogg@u.washington.edu

So, let go
 ...Jump in
  ...Oh well, what you waiting for?
   ...it's all right
    ...'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

Reply to: