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Re: ARC patent

From: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Andrew Sullivan <ajs(at)crankycanuck(dot)ca>
Cc: pgsql-hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: ARC patent
Date: 2005-01-17 20:48:38
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> With a team of lawyers which we can't match.  They may never have a
> patent, or they may get it next month.  I'd feel more
> comfortable if I knew what sort of remedies they could demand (I have
> a call open to a lawyer I believe will give me a conservative answer
> about that).  
> What I can say, for sure, is that no responsible corporate user will
> be able to use this code with the threat hanging over.  The recent
> SCO stuff ought to be a lesson here: their claims appear to have been
> completely baseless, but companies still spent a pile of time and
> money on the issue.  It'll be far worse in a case where the
> infringment is real and, yet worse, intentional.

You want scarey --- forget the IBM patent.  Find an Oracle or Microsoft
patent that is similar to something in our code.  It will might not be
exact, but our ARC isn't exact either.

Basically any organization that wants to produce patent-free code would
need one lawyer for every five programmers, and even then it isn't 100%.
The method I have heard to find infringement sounds pretty imprecise.

The remedy for patent infringment I think is usually to stop using the
patented idea, rather than punitive damages, unlike copyright.

  Bruce Momjian                        |
  pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us               |  (610) 359-1001
  +  If your life is a hard drive,     |  13 Roberts Road
  +  Christ can be your backup.        |  Newtown Square, Pennsylvania 19073

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