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Date:      Mon, 6 Aug 2012 19:08:19 +0000
From:      David Brodbeck <>
Subject:   Re: Patent hit - MS goes after Linux - FreeBSD ?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <20120805045800.29444.qmail@joyce.lan> <> <> <20120805093320.7b7f0fc4@scorpio> <20120805214321.17a02e43@papi> <20120806081638.1033190a@scorpio> <>

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On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM, Steve O'Hara-Smith <> wrote=
> On Mon, 6 Aug 2012 08:16:38 -0400
> Jerry <> wrote:
>> Yes you can. You are stating a commonly held incorrect belief. You can
>> always request a license from the patient holder. No one, well no one
>> interested in monetary compensation would patient anything unless they
>> were:
>> =E2=81=BD=C2=B9=E2=81=BE Intended to use the patents in such a way that =
they would directly
>> profit from it
>> =E2=81=BD=C2=B2=E2=81=BE Intended to lease the patent rights or outright=
 sell the patent.
> [3] Want to prevent anyone else from using it to break into their market.

Yes, but this comes with a trade-off.

Patents are for a LIMITED time.  And in exchange for getting that
temporary monopoly, you have to publish the details of your invention.

The idea was not just to provide a monetary incentive for innovation,
but to ensure that those innovations became public knowledge.  In the
absence of patents, companies tend to resort to trade secrets --
keeping the details of their innovations hidden.  This can result in
"lost technologies" when a particular company goes under and takes its
trade secrets with it.

Now, it's reasonable to argue that in some fields the duration of that
limited monopoly is too long, given how quickly technology advances,
but that doesn't mean the concept isn't sound.

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