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Links 07/29/2008

July 29, 2008
  • In an article last week at Patently-O, law professor John Duffy warns that the Patent Office has staked out positions that, if accepted by the courts, would amount to the de facto abolition of software patents. He’s right that the Patent Office has become increasingly hostile to software patents in the last couple of years. However, it’s far from clear that the end of software patents is imminent. And Duffy is dead wrong to suggest that fewer software patents would be bad for innovation.

    tags: patents, standards

  • Microsoft’s OSP has been controversial in part because it’s basic covenant not to sue developers was crippled by its application only to noncommercial developers, as well as other ambiguities that have been resolved. With this update to the OSP, this restriction is gone, as Sam Ramji, Director of Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab, confirmed:

    Microsoft is putting a wide range of protocols that were formerly in the Communications Protocol Program under the Open Specification Promise (OSP). This guarantees their freedom from any patent claims from Microsoft now or in the future, and includes both Microsoft-developed and industry-developed protocols.

    We have established a clarification to the OSP that guarantees developer rights to build software of any kind and for any purpose using these specifications, including commercial use.

    tags: standards, patents

  • This document describes the inner workings of IETF meetings and Working Groups,
    discusses organizations related to the IETF, and introduces the standards
    process. It is not a formal IETF process document but instead an informational
    overview.

    tags: standards

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