Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Mar 2007 22:07 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Microsoft Software behemoth Microsoft could be one of the biggest losers from proposed license changes to the Linux operating system unveiled Wednesday. That's a possible outcome of updates to the license pushed by the FSF. The FSF wants to make mutually exclusive pacts such as the Novell-Microsoft open-source agreement a violation of the next iteration of the GNU GPL, the license that governs Linux use. "It is unfortunate that the FSF is attempting to use the GPLv3 to prevent future collaboration among industry leaders to benefit customers," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing.
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by lemur2 on Fri 30th Mar 2007 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE"
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{ Others will not have the same ability to create something new if you hold a patent, since their very own idea has become a government granted monopoly. They are barred from implementing their own ideas and barred from competition. }

This seems to be a common misconception amongst Americans in particular.

Holding a patent does NOT grant a monopoly on an idea, and it does NOT prevent others from making a competing product.

Patents protect only a particular method of doing something.

Therefore, as an example, even during the time when Panadol/Tylenol was on the market and its makers held a valid patent for the formula for paracetamol, that patent did not prevent other pharmaceutical companies from putting their own competing headache tablets on the market, such as aspirin, dispirin, codeine, naprogesic (naproxen) or nurofen (ibuprofen).

Patents do NOT protect ideas (such as "headache tablet") per se, they protect only one possible method of doing something (such as "formula for paracetamol").

Edited 2007-03-30 13:54

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