[speex-dev] Is Speex realy patent free?

Steve Underwood steveu at coppice.org
Sat Nov 29 02:37:56 PST 2003

c.a.m at blueyonder.co.uk wrote:

>Well, apparently, no pure software solution can be patented (hardware can),
>least that's what I saw on the national news here in the UK 2 weeks ago.
This is a widely quoted misconception. Do you think that if you replace 
a hardware implementation of a signal processing technique with a 
software one, the patent on the hardware solution magically doesn't 
apply? In a few cases, where the patent was very narrowly defined, that 
may be true. In those cases the patent is usually so narrowly defined 
there are many ways around it in hardware, let alone in software. In 
most cases a pure software implementation of a technique is just as 
subject to any patents on that technique as any other implementation.

What cannot be patented in most places is a purely software algorithm. A 
signal processing technique is fully patentable in any country with a 
patent law, and the patent will hold up for any method of realising that 


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