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Re: [ITPOLITIK] Softwarepatentforedrag



Fra http://www.cloanto.com/users/mcb/19950127giflzw.html:
"The LZW algorithm which is now attracting so much attention
is patented by both IBM (4,814,746) and Unisys (US patent
4,558,302, European patent 0,129,439 - Japanese and other
patents pending), while British Telecom (BT) holds a similar
patent."

Carsten Svaneborg wrote:
> Er der ikke noget med at et patent kun gælder en bestemt anvendelse?

Ifølge den europæiske patentkonvention kan programmer
"som sådan" ikke patenteres. Derfor har Unisys i Europa
været "smarte" og har vistnok kun patenteret LZW til brug
i forbindelse med "data storage" og "data transfer".
Så man kan godt implementere LZW, og distribuere koden
- man kan bare ikke lovligt bruge den til noget fornuftigt.
 
Selv ikke EPO kan bruge LZW til deres elektroniske
dataudveksling. Se
http://www.european-patent-office.org/epoline/pdf/epo-olf-standard.pdf
og søg efter LZW.
 
At både IBM og Unisys holder et patent på det samme, viser
hvor svært det kan være at undersøge om software allerede
er patenteret. Det mislykkedes for USPTO i dette tilfælde.

Og hvis ikke engang et af verdens største patentkontorer
kan klare en sådan opgave, hvordan skal man så forvente at
små virksomheder skal kunne gøre det i dag hvor mængden af
patenter på software er så meget større?
 
Denne sag viser også hvor svært det kan være at få kendt
et patent ugyldigt, selvom der er "prior art". Unisys har
i dag (17 år efter) stadig patent på LZW, selvom IBM vist
var først med ansøgning om patent på LZW.


Ole Husgaard.


 
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