[patrick.pelissier@gmail.com: Fwd: Optimizing 1/x]

Paul Leyland paul at leyland.vispa.com
Tue Sep 13 10:08:13 CEST 2005

I have two addenda (intermingled in the text below) which should have
been in the original posting.

> The first thing to note is that the position varies by jurisdiction. 
> However, most countries have signed up to the Geneva Convention and so
> the legal regimes are broadly similar in much of the world.

Addendum: The position also varies by geographical location if the
inventors have not filed their patents in particular jurisdictions.  A
well-known historical example is RSA public key cryptography, patented
only in the USA.  That particular patent has expired and anyone is free
to make, distribute and use the invention.

> Secondly, people are most certainly allowed to study the patent itself
> for the purposes of self-education.  The justification of patent law is
> that it brings out into the open view inventions that would otherwise be
> kept as trade secrets.  In return for public disclosure, the inventor is
> given a strictly limited monopoly on production of the invention.

Addendum: You are also permitted (in the absence of any additional
restrictive conditions agreed between you and the patent holder) to
study a properly licensed implementation of the invention.


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