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From "Andrew C. Oliver" <>
Subject Re: [definitely OT] LZW patent [was Re: MathML package structure?]
Date Sat, 19 Jan 2002 17:00:03 GMT
And all this because I hit the wrong button on Ximan Evolution :-).  If
anyone want to chat about this further they'll have to email me
directly.  I don't want to turn cocoon-dev into a big political
discussion room.  :-)

On Sat, 2002-01-19 at 11:49, Roger I Martin PhD wrote:
> Just my two capitalistic cents:  As I understand it, the patent office was
> not set up to only provide protection of inventions for would-be
> manufacturers but to get all ideas and inventions into the hands of the
> military as quickly as possible so they can pick through 'em(I happen to
> agree with this. It "wouldn't be prudent" having US citizens selling
> military ideas to the country with the highest bid!).  Therefore what is
> considered patentable has been kept very broad to give people an incentive
> to submit their ideas.  For example, if you figure out how to make a bullet
> travel further and more accurately by "rifling" a gun barrel, they want to
> know about it and "convince" you to keep it a US military secret! You get
> patent protection for civilian and commercial applications and if it has
> miltary significances, a fat contract.  If you can't manufacture in a timely
> fashion the US military has the right to get it done.
> I agree that software and algorithms don't patent well.  Mostly because of
> lawyers (this is not proverbial lawyer bashing) just a fact. Code blows 'em
> away.  It's too much for 'em.  They can't handle patenting something
> progressively changing with more words than the patent.  Try explaining to a
> lawyer what a reserved word is or all the "prior art"!  I had to write a
> patent for one .com and by the time management and the lawyers were
> satisfied with the patent prose, .coms were no longer getting VC money for
> fledging ideas. Since this experience I've stayed away from patenting
> software alone!
> Why deal with gif? Why not jpg, png, etc?
> Blame this OT continuation on it being Saturday morning.
> -Roger
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-- - port of Excel format to java 
			- fix java generics!

The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to
-Ambassador Kosh

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