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Thread: Mesa Developers Still Fear Patent Wrath With S2TC

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantaylor View Post
    Estoppel: The defense of estoppel occurs when (1) the patent owner, through conduct, positive statement, or misleading silence, represents to the infringer that his business will be unmolested by claims of infringement, and (2) the infringer, in relying on this representation, continues or expands his business.

    Estoppel is closely related to latches. In practice, estoppel additionally requires proof by the infringer that he was misled by patent owner conduct. Generally, silence without bad faith will not create an estoppel. However, where a patent owner openly asserts his rights and then chooses to sleep on them, thereby deceiving the infringer, the patent owner will be stopped from reasserting his patent rights in a tardy action.
    Thank you, you are just awesome. Finally someone that can speak lawyerish and actually references a law book. That puts the end to that "Courts can't do this/that".

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsynoKhi0 View Post
    Going slightly off-topic here, but could that kind of argument be made for Mono should problems materialize around it?
    Because tardiness is kinda subjective even in the law text if my memory serves me well.
    I'm certain that a couple of years ago, Microsoft went out and officially said that they "will never sue over C# or CLI". *google google*

    Here we go:
    http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Jul-06.html

    So they have officially (by positive statement I assume) said that it is:
    "It is important to note that, under the Community Promise, anyone can freely implement these specifications with their technology, code, and solutions. "

    So mono shouldn't be a problem anymore. Not since 2009. They even end their statement with:
    Under the Community Promise, Microsoft provides assurance that it will not assert its Necessary Claims against anyone who makes, uses, sells, offers for sale, imports, or distributes any Covered Implementation under any type of development or distribution model, including open-source licensing models such as the LGPL or GPL.

  3. #53
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    Rudolf was frustrated about the fact that what he has done seems to be completely useless, since they won't take the risk of using it, and not even discuss the specifics. So he asks what he should have done differently on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jose
    > How should you brought this? You should have assumed that we have our reasons
    > -- after all we've been living under the frustration of these patents,
    > walking on a mine field, for a decade --, instead of assuming we have NIH
    > syndrome.
    This is insane. That like saying (literally) "Ignore the issue, assume we have thought of everything and that we have our reasons".

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudolf
    So I should never try to do anything new, as likely someone else may have already done it and rejected it.
    Rufolf is right on the money here.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantaylor View Post
    Estoppel: The defense of estoppel occurs when (1) the patent owner, through conduct, positive statement, or misleading silence, represents to the infringer that his business will be unmolested by claims of infringement, and (2) the infringer, in relying on this representation, continues or expands his business.

    Estoppel is closely related to latches. In practice, estoppel additionally requires proof by the infringer that he was misled by patent owner conduct. Generally, silence without bad faith will not create an estoppel. However, where a patent owner openly asserts his rights and then chooses to sleep on them, thereby deceiving the infringer, the patent owner will be stopped from reasserting his patent rights in a tardy action.
    Are there any cases where this has actually been upheld? I've always been told by lawyery types that patents cannot be invalidated by lack of enforcement. Given that we have a common law system, this may well just be because some judge decided that "never" is a good time limit for how long a reply can possibly take, and hence we're now stuck with a useless law that is basically unenforceable.

    The only cases i can find of patent estoppel being used successfully at all as a defense were after a company actively and directly threatened another company with patent infringement claims without disclosing the details (for years). Nothing about random people asking questions and not getting a response: estoppel only kicked in because the patent holder initiated active threats but didn't follow through with the necessary details for several years. (Note this is not comparable to the Microsoft/Mono situation, as Microsoft has not actually threatened a lawsuit against anyone yet over C#/.NET patents. At worst they've just said that there are patents and that you should play it safe and get a license.)

    Maybe estoppel has been enforced in other types of situation, or maybe it hasn't but is likely to be enforced in the right court. You'd need a good lawyer to tell you that concretely. Some random dipshit on the Web (myself included) posting a dictionary definition of a law term means abso-freaking-lutely nothing.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    Some random dipshit on the Web (myself included) posting a dictionary definition of a law term means abso-freaking-lutely nothing.
    Couldn't agree more. Also, HTC could answer like:

    "Well, the thing you're trying to do might infringe on our patent,
    depending on the actual implementation, so we recommend that
    you obtain our licence."

    And there you go, we're definitely not in a "misleading silence"
    teritory any more. Tell you the truth, common law sucks.

    The "Misleading silence". Coming to you soon from minds that
    brought you the "Software patent" system in first place.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by hal2k1 View Post
    If you have legally purchased the hardware, then you have the rights to use whatever is in the hardware, even without holding a specific license.
    Actually nope, according to Jose:
    ...the S3TC patent is often licensed to be used only on particular platforms. driver stacks, or use cases. Enabling S3TC decompression on hardware for which IHV does not have a license covering Linux OS and Mesa driver stack may lead to S3 suing somebody -- the developer, the user, the linux distribution, or the hardware vendor -- typically whoever has the deepest pocket.

  7. #57
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    Default Implied license for hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by myxal View Post
    Actually nope, according to Jose:
    You do have "implied license" rights when you purchase hardware with embedded IP, regardless of what a patent holder may try to get away with.

    What is supposed to happen is that the IP holder should charge the hardware manufacturer a royalty for using the IP. That charge is then passed on to whoever buys the hardware, in effect giving them the license to use that IP. This is implied by the purchase transaction, you don't actually need to hold a specific license certification to show that you have those rights, a mere receipt for the legal purchase of the hardware is sufficient.

    The IP holder does not have the right to charge again for the same IP via software to access that hardware. That would be double-dipping.

    If the IP holder failed to charge the hardware manufacturer a royalty for embedding the IP, then that is the problem of the IP holder, who needs to take up the issue with the hardware maker. It has nothing at all to do with the consumer, who bought the hardware in good faith.

    IP holders may wish (and even spread FUD) that this scenario was different, but it just isn't. This is the way it works, AFAIK (caveat: IANAL).

    For example: "the S3TC patent is often licensed to be used only on particular platforms. driver stacks, or use cases" ... doesn't sound legal. This would be akin to trying to sell a hammer but claiming later on that it can be used only with certain brands of nails. A patent holder simply does not have the power to stipulate such a use restriction ... once you buy hardware it becomes your property (no longer the property of any party involved in its manufacture), and you can do with it whatever you want to.
    Last edited by hal2k1; 08-10-2011 at 08:30 PM.

  8. #58

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    Now there is solution of MP3 and H.264 "problems" for every Linux distribution. I just not understand why distribution developers not provide same solution for floating point and S3TC problems to end-users. There is report to Ubuntu Team for example: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...sa/+bug/823062

  9. #59
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    Default Doesn't need to be upheld

    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    Are there any cases where this has actually been upheld.
    Any half-decent lawyer would not even allow the case to get that far. You don't see it being upheld when the case is not even brought to trial. If the plaintiff's attorney allows the case to go forward while knowing about evidence of estoppel, they could be sanctioned.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by hal2k1 View Post
    once you buy hardware it becomes your property (no longer the property of any party involved in its manufacture), and you can do with it whatever you want to.
    No, you cannot

    For instance you cannot purchase an Ipad and then announce a contest:

    "Winner gets a free ipad"

    Without Apple's permission, because you cannot use their trademarked name in a commercial context without their permission (actual court case).

    For instance, If you purchase each of the components of a patented device, you cannot then assemble them into the patented device and sell it.

    For instance, If you purchase a book in a country without copyright laws, you cannot legally sell the book in a country with copyright laws.

    There are many more instances but I have to get back to work.

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