Re: patenting compiler technology

glen herrmannsfeldt <>
Thu, 14 Jan 2010 05:47:28 +0000 (UTC)

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
patenting compiler technology (zeng jane) (2010-01-04)
Re: patenting compiler technology (Derek M. Jones) (2010-01-05)
Re: patenting compiler technology (rcmetzger) (2010-01-06)
Re: patenting compiler technology (George Neuner) (2010-01-11)
Re: patenting compiler technology (glen herrmannsfeldt) (2010-01-14)
Re: patenting compiler technology (Jeremy Wright) (2010-01-14)
Re: patenting compiler technology (Paul Biggar) (2010-01-16)
| List of all articles for this month |

From: glen herrmannsfeldt <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 05:47:28 +0000 (UTC)
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
References: 10-01-035 10-01-042 10-01-050
Keywords: legal, comment
Posted-Date: 15 Jan 2010 21:00:41 EST

George Neuner <> wrote:

> I think it's telling that many of the holders of general algorithm
> patents have apparently chosen not to enforce costly licensing
> agreements for their technology ... I have family members who practice
> IP law and routinely refer me to court cases and PTO directives
> regarding software, yet I know of few cases involving any general
> algorithm patents. Though there certainly have been some algorithm
> centric court cases, most cases tend not to be about the uses of the
> algorithms themselves, but rather are about some higher level device
> or process that happens to incorporate them.

One I heard many years ago regards using the XOR operation on bitmap
graphics such that one can erase by writing over the original.
Stories go that it was upheld twice when challenged, though it has
probably expired by now.

One that I know better is an algorithm for processing mass
spectrometry data from proteins to determine the protein's amino acid
sequence. While it might be that the specific algorithm deserves a
patent, as I understand it the University of Washington ask for, and
was granted, a patent for all algorithms for processing protein mass
spectroscopy data. It should be challenged, but so far it hasn't

-- glen
[The XOR cursor patent was 4,197,590, issued in 1980 and expired in 1997.
Autodesk paid for a license, but they said it was holding up their IPO
and it was faster and cheaper to settle than to fight it. This has
little to do with compilers -- one more and we're done unless someone has
compiler-related patents they want to discuss. -John]

Post a followup to this message

Return to the comp.compilers page.
Search the comp.compilers archives again.