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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <wr...@rowe-clan.net>
Subject Re: Should we be warning Committers?
Date Sat, 06 Oct 2007 04:26:03 GMT
Note that Larry and I took this side-channel to see where we essentially
agree and where he still has concerns, his comments follow...

Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> wrowe wrote:
>> My point was that we are going to crash into a patent that describes the
>> results of an API no matter how clean the cleanroom was, and we already
>> agree on that, right?
> We agree. If we're going to crash into a patent, isn't it better to know as
> much as we reasonably can about that patent before the crash happens?

>> But I was noting that if their patent described how they got to that point
>> (the code logic) rather than the outcome, and the cleanroom coder reaches
>> their own (different) logic to the same outcome, then they have avoided
>> a mine by simply coming up with a different logic pattern that wasn't
>> described by the patent.
> Take a look at this:
> www.rosenlaw.com/Infringing-Patents-in-Computer-Software.pdf. 
>> So there is a /small/ difference in cleanroom practice of never sharing
>> the details of how one gets to result X.
> WRT patent infringement, it makes no difference whatsoever whether you use a
> cleanroom environment. If what you meant is that, by doing your work
> secretly you hide your infringement, then of course that's true. Many method
> patent infringements go unnoticed for that very reason. But the truth may be
> discovered and, with a six-year statute of limitations for patent
> infringement damages, plus willful infringement possibilities, the risk may
> not be worth the game.

In short, in spite of whatever small merit my position might hold, I stand
fundamentally corrected :)

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