[bitc-dev] Choice of runtime/VM
bklooste at gmail.com
Sun Aug 1 08:05:47 PDT 2010
>Well, there is a distinction. Say BitC depends on .NET because of the
>standard library, and because of support for linking with .NET. BitC
>is making a claim of forward compatibility with the .NET ecosystem.
>BitC users start to depend on that a lot in their applications.
MS have few patents on .NET ( and surprisingly Singularity btw) and those
are very specific this is due to the fact that the US patent office
tightened up after the notorious ones in the 90s. The real core of .NET is
CIL which is a public standard , Mono don't use the CLR and the libs are
their own code which just uses the same interface.
That said When Apple , MS or IBM sue you, it's with those dodgy pre 1990s
"crown jewels" ( and pre .net) patents ..Which cover very common things
developers do like representing OS data /configuration in an object , point
and click UI , mapping data to objects , xml , putting a menu on a web page
, simple proprietary designs like FAT etc.
Fair no , but not much you can do about it.
You can argue courts give less credence to pre 2000 patents which is true
but by that time you will be bankrupt. Only solution is don't annoy them
unless your big enough to fight it out. I have been in court and I have
been sued and it cost me over 100K mainly in legal fees and I was lucky that
it didn't cost me 3 or 4 * that, there is no ethics and nothing but dirty
tricks but you need to be very practical.
>In the case of TomTom, that's what happened. The FAT patents have to
>be infringed upon in order to be fully compatible with Windows. You
>cannot work around them without breaking some compatibility. (By the
>way, the mainline Linux kernel can now optionally drop full FAT32
>compatibility for this reason, I believe.) This is also why patents on
>video compression technology are so widely licensed: you have to
>license them if you want to be compatible.
Yes , and note TomTom made a number of errors
They were a Windows shop who also did Unix , who were in negotiations with
MS about being bought and I suspect they "annoyed" someone important....
They had Open Source expert legal advice saying the FAT patents won't hold
in court ( it's a pre 2000 patent). This is probably true with equal legal
representation but you can't fight a big company unless you have very deep
pockets and the issue now is there is a precedent on FAT ( which may be why
they went after TomTom) .
Have a look at the patents you can't defend yourself from it , the same
thing happened to me there were trivial things like displaying an Amex card
sign when you used to accept it but now don't . The result is even though
you can defend the key claim which may be a trivial amount they will have
something that sticks (they only need 1) , the end result is you get their
costs ... In my case that was 300K .
Don't think you can fight a legal battle with the big boys you will lose
unless it's a movie ! Your only hope is PR eg in TomToms case Microsoft
specifically stated it had nothing to do with linux for PR reasons yet
TomTom used standard Linux FAT.
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