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From John Cowan <co...@mercury.ccil.org>
Subject Re: [License-discuss] Disclosure of patents by Apache projects
Date Mon, 25 May 2015 19:40:17 GMT
Lawrence Rosen scripsit:

> "Willful blindness (sometimes called ignorance of law, willful ignorance or
> contrived ignorance or Nelsonian knowledge) is a term used in law to
> describe a situation in which a person seeks to avoid civil or criminal
> liability for a wrongful act by intentionally putting him or herself in a
> position where he or she will be unaware of facts that would render him or
> her liable.

Does this mean that before taking action of any sort there is an
affirmative duty to seach the entire patent registry to make sure that
the idea you just had isn't in there?  Surely not.

I don't have a proper citation for this, but back in the 1920s _Time_
magazine was sued by a Florida lady for saying that her husband had
divorced her rather than that she had divorced her husband.  At the time,
Florida law specified adultery as the sole ground of divorce, so she
claimed that the error was a libel _per se_.  The Supremes decided that
while all men are presumed to know the law ("for it is an excuse that every
man will pleaed, and no man know how to refute"), there was no reason
for a New York corporation to know Florida law as well as all that.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan@ccil.org
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen,    http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith.  --Galadriel, LOTR:FOTR

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