[Linux-aus] Re: patents and .NET

Andrew Cowie andrew at operationaldynamics.com.au
Wed Feb 26 07:41:01 UTC 2003

On Tue, 2003-02-25 at 23:44, Brent Wallis wrote:

> But are not critical parts of .NET being prepared for patents?

The really sad part is that the original purpose of patents was to
*encourage* the spread of knowledge by making it possible for people to
release their ideas without fear of being completely ripped off (the
alternative being to keep it to themselves under a dark slimy rock).
Alas patents tend to be used in the context of "I got here first so you
can't do it" which sort of misses the point.

Of course, the Open Source meme is a bit drastic in this light; a
hundred years ago it didn't seem all that unreasonable that the person
who patented something should get some protection and the potential to
make royalties from their invention. It's just that the Free and Open
Source Software movements have found a viable, if somewhat unexpected,
way of creating things and then giving the work away for the benefit of

Frankly I'm glad of that because if you've ever looked into the cost of
patenting something... yikes. And even if you patent, that's nothing
compared to the legal costs over 20 years to *defend* your patent. 

Which makes patents a tool that pretty much only large corporate
entities can afford, which is a shame.


You may have seen this before, but my girlfriend found this today when
she was trying to figure out what .NET is; I had a hard time explaining
it to her. [Always a good sign that you don't know what you're talking
about] Turns out I'm not the only one:


It's pretty funny.

Oh well. go Mono!


Andrew Frederick Cowie
Operational Dynamics Consulting Pty Ltd

Australia +61 2 9977 6866  North America +1 646 270 5376

andrew at operationaldynamics.com.au

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