[cc-licenses] Copyright of XML schema instantiation

J.B. Nicholson-Owens jbn at forestfield.org
Sun Aug 27 04:03:36 EDT 2006

drew Roberts wrote:
> I hear that in fact this is more that they should not be able to patent your 
> ideas after you have published them, not that they cannot, and that in fact, 
> the searches done for prior art are way too small and patents are awarded 
> like this fairly regularly. AND... the costs to invalidate the patent are way 
> too large and the process too long.
> Anyone with facts care to comment?

According to the Free Software Foundation, the USPTO issued patents to both 
IBM and Unisys which covered the same algorithm--the LZW algorithm.  This is 
part of the basis for why there were (perhaps still are) no GIF files used in 
the GNU Project website:

 From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/gif.html
> Even if Unisys really did give permission for free software to generate
 > GIFs, we would still have to deal with the IBM patent. Both the IBM and
 > the Unisys patents cover the same "invention"--the LZW compression
 > algorithm. (This could reflect an error on the part of the US Patent and
 > Trademark Office, which is famous for incompetence and poor judgment.)

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