[vorbis-dev] patents

Kenneth C. Arnold kcarnold at arnoldnet.net
Tue Dec 19 21:29:19 PST 2000

According to Marshall Eubanks (sometime around Tue, Dec 19, 2000 at 11:24:51PM -0500):
[snip quoted mail]
> Hello;
> I am not a lawyer - YMMV


> You should look at http://www.openpatents.org/nutshell.php
> I believe that in the USA you have 1 year from the date of first
> publication to
> file for a patent.
> A SEPARATE party, however, can invalidate a patent by filing for a
> similar one minutes
> before you do. 
> It used to be we (USA) used a first to invent system - now we are a
> modified first to file system.
> If you invented earlier, but filed later, then (I believe) you can only
> escape the other
> patent's reach for yourself. 
> Remember, outside parties do not (yet) get to comment on pending
> patents. Prior art counts
> for most if it is seen by the patent examiner...

My intuition tells me you are wrong ... and I seriously hope that is
the case. My intuition has had relatively little legal input on
patents, though, so take its advice with more salt than would be
healthy for you.

> Who "yourself" might be for an open source project is obscure. My guess
> is that a decade or so of
> litigation might clear this up.
> My humble opinion :
> 1.) Patent whatever you can.
> 2.) Publish (not just a web page, but really publish) as much as
> possible as soon as possible. 
> Get it out there. Include references.
> I know that this is work, and I appreciate that you have been
> publicizing and
> documenting this as much as possible. The IP issue will, alas, not go
> away, though.

Are there any audio journals that the Vorbis codec could get a
detailed technical article in? How about IEEE (Spectrum)? There's lots
of meaty math stuff in there that writing an article would
expose (good for those of us who are lacking the necessary knowledge
of the guts of the system to gain it without personally bugging Monty
all the time :) -- and it would be especially nice if the journal
could print the source just to prove it ... but that's probably asking
for too much, though.

> Marshall
> > Btw if some people think that we must stop discussing patents here to use a
> > separate list without archives available and controlled subscribers, I'd be
> > happy to switch to this list.

Perhaps we could move the patent discussion to an "undocumented"
Slashdot sid? e.g. slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=vorbispatents ? That
would be good IMHO because it provides a relatively accurate date- and
time-stamp, and is controlled by an independant agency so info could
not be faked, and Slashdot already offers threading, which even mutt,
The Threaded Mailer, is starting to collapse on.

$.02 -- but cost me more than that in sleep...

Kenneth Arnold <ken at arnoldnet.net> / kcarnold / Linux user #180115

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