[wine] Re: Software patents

David Lee Lambert lamber45 at cse.msu.edu
Thu May 12 11:09:13 CDT 2005

On Thu, May 12, 2005 at 08:04:57AM -0400, gslink wrote:

> The easiest way to resolve this business with Borland is to contact 
> Borland.  They may also have an interest in Wine.  If they have no 
> objection to what Wine wants to do then there is no one else to 
> complain.  They might even help Wine.  Borland probably doesn't even 

Borland may have some intrest in Wine (it can be used to run code produced
by their compilers, which helps their potential market-share a bit).  
However, it could also view Wine as a competitor (especially to their
Kylix product).  I doubt they'd sue Wine developers over this,  but it's 
possible that they have a reciprocal license that would require them to 
defend patent #5,628,016.

Would Wine be able to proceed if we got the following statement from them?

"Borland hereby grants a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to
use the methods described in U.S. patent 5,628,016 to the current Wine
developers when they use the current LGPL source-code for wine, and to
anyone who properly recieves a copy of that source-code or properly
creates a derivative work based on it when they use said copy or
derivative work."

I think this would satisfy the conditions in section 11 of the LGPL.  In 
absence of communication from Borland,  we might also infer this based on 
their future public statements.

I just don't want to see this turn into another situation like GIF files 
or PGP 2.x, where one company's patent put all "compatible" 
implementations on shaky legal ground.

David Lee Lambert (also as4109 at wayne.edu)    cell ph# 586-873-8813
PGP key at http://www.cse.msu.edu/~lamber45/newmail.htm#GPGKey
resume at  http://www.cse.msu.edu/~lamber45/resume.htm

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