[ODE] Quickstep and patents

Jon Watte (ODE) hplus-ode at mindcontrol.org
Thu Jun 7 14:50:58 MST 2007

It is not possible to enforce a patent if there is clear prior art 
dating before the priority date of the patent.

However, sometimes it actually takes a multi-million court battle to 
prove that. If the prior art is blatantly and clearly going to 
invalidate the patent, though, it's likely that the aggressor will 
settle quickly, or drop the whole matter. No matter -- I'm not a lawyer, 
so I can't advice on legal issues or conditions specific to any 
individual case.


          / h+

Charlls Quarra wrote:
> --- metanet software <metanet_gda4 at yahoo.ca> escribió:
>> hi,
>> I'm working on a physics solver, and have recently
>> discovered that  
> several well-known techniques are in
>> fact patented. I'm eager to opensource my project,
>> however doing so will make it obvious what methods
>> i'm using, and one of them is definitely patented. 
> Well, i might sound overconfident, but i think there
> are reasons _right now_ to NOT worry about this. ODE
> has had quickstep probably before 2001 (check
> archives) and it is released under BSD license.
> Usually BSD is read like "do anything you want with
> this" but i hesitate to believe that would include
> "patent it and make it become non-compliant to that
> patent retroactively". There are hundreds of thousands
> of lines of valuable but orphaned code (like ODE)
> below the BSD or even more relaxed licenses out there
> in the world. That line of thought would lead us to
> conclude that most of it can become unusable if some
> company start to lay claims over it. The reality is
> that no company has attempted that (With the well
> known notable exception of SCO Unix of course). 
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