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patent is out, that means that free software is gone?

Posted on 2004-08-06
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Hi.
Just lately heard, that patent side won over the free software.  Some people now own things like double click, or scrool bar.  Linux is now charged of breaking 238 or so patent laws!!
Please correct me if i am wrong.

Does that mean its an end to free software, since most (if not all) common software features are now patented?
Does that mean, that i can't write software that for example has a double click or a scrool bar, unless i contact the patent holder and give him money? (i am can't write software yet, but trying to learn to).

I am realy lost in this patent thing, and every where i go, i get different information.
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Question by:AlexanderR
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billyea earned 600 total points
ID: 11740726
No way. It's impossible to patent such widely used objects,
First answer, you can still make stuff with scrollbars and double click. Even if free software is gone, it will take years, even CENTURIES before they can remove all the software that uses a scrollbar.
So, it's safe. Thanks for the inquiry.

Hope it helps :)

PS. Free software is still good as gold!
The only person who can ever hold a patent on a scrollbar is...guess what...Xerox, the printing company, you heard it right.
Xerox actually developed the first 'Window-like' GUI and Microsoft stole it. Hehe, poor lads.
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Expert Comment

by:esmogen
ID: 11740881
A lot of patents belong to Linux friends
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Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11740907
thats right, you can still deevelop software without being charged, i mean, it's YOUR software.
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by:AlexanderR
ID: 11740942
Your answer helped a lot billyea.

I used scrool bar only for an example, just could not think of anything else at the time.  Yes, i heard that microsoft's windows is not realy microsoft's.  I knew that story.
However, i never knew that Linux also holds some patents.  I am glad to hear that.

Anyone else has anything to say, before i give out the points?

P.S. I would REALY like to know, what the world would look like today, if xerox would stand up for their software and would not give it to Bill.
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Author Comment

by:AlexanderR
ID: 11740982
Yeah, the software is mine and i realy don't see the point in this patent thing for this case.  I mean inventions are for EVERYONE to use so whats all this "can't use this guy's idea" for? If the inventor don't want any one to use their ideas, then just don't publish the code for it. But according to an official patent website (too bad can't remember the URL), i can't use ANY of the patented stuff, unless i contact the holder (even for most common features).  Of caurse i understand that some features are SO common, (like a mouse button, which again, microsoft grabed that patent) can't possibly be taken away. Only some REALY law obidient folks will follow that.
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Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11740988
Well, the world would be dull if microsoft didn't take it. Xerox developed the GUI for it's printing purpose only, so unless you were printing something, you'd never know what a WINDOW was.
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Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11740990
PS. Mac was deveoped before windows so Bill Gates stole stuff from Mac too!!
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