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> Read the law... willful vs. unknown infringement are two
> different things.
You can't infringe on a non-existent patent.
> FWIW I've really only been advocating that we don't do the change in a
> patch branch, which I'm afraid the "do nothing till the lawyers show up"
> plan would eventually lead to.
It's not "do nothing till the lawyers show up." At the very least, it's
"do nothing until it actually becomes a patent." There are 1000s of
pending patents out there. The bar is very low: all it takes is some
money and some paperwork. Proving that it is novel and new is the tough
part, and there is no guarantee that this particular one will get to that
level. If it does, IBM could certainly donate it, or let the project use
it, or decide that our implementation is sufficiently different. At any
rate, they are not likely to go after an open source project, even if
via our "customers." If and when they do, that's when we react, the same
way with do with security fixes: make new branches, and release them.
We look good, IBM looks bad, and we get lots of free publicity.
Spending time on this is silly, IMO, unless there is a technical reason
why the feature should be replaced.
Greg Sabino Mullane greg(at)turnstep(dot)com
PGP Key: 0x14964AC8 200501282155
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