.NET going open source(sort of)

James Hawkins truiken at gmail.com
Thu Oct 4 13:38:40 CDT 2007

On 10/4/07, Brian Vincent <brian.vincent at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/4/07, Stephan Rose <kermos at somrek.net> wrote:
> > But just because code, that implements the same functionality looks
> > similar?? Well of COURSE it looks similar...it is trying to do the same
> > thing!
> >
> > I mean seriously, how does any of this stuff have legal ground? Is the
> > US system seriously that screwed up?
> I shouldn't bother responding.. however..
> Let's say you're a huge pharmaceutical company and you manage to
> develop an AIDS vaccine.  At the end of the day you've probably spent
> billions and billions of dollars and all you really end up with is a
> chemical formula.  That chemical formula then takes several more
> billions of dollars in order to be tested and certified for use.
> Should some other company be allowed to just come along and copy that
> chemical formula after the other company has invested so much time and
> energy?  Most people generally agree that wouldn't be fair.
> Now, regarding software design, I think there needs to be strict
> limits on what qualifies as software patents, etc.  I would think if
> Google wanted to show everyone their code it would unfair if someone
> came along and started their own search engine based on it.
> Fortunately I'm too dumb to have a solution so I don't have to worry
> about such things.

In defense of Stephan, I'm pretty sure he was referring to the case
where two companies independently arrive at the same solution to a
problem.  In the case of pharmaceutical companies, that means both
companies each invested billions of dollars in strikingly similar or
exact vaccines.  Concerning MS and, say, Mono, the implementation of
the .NET interface may be strikingly similar, enough to cause patent
concerns, yet they hopefully arrived at the implementations
independently.  The biggest difference is timing.  Who patented first,
etc?  I believe this is the problem with the US patent system referred
to by Stephan.

James Hawkins

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