Software patent protest, could kde participate ?

Christophe Devriese oelewapperke at
Sun Aug 24 17:13:07 BST 2003

On Sunday 24 August 2003 15:53, Rob Kaper wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 23, 2003 at 02:41:13PM +0200, Christophe Devriese wrote:
> > I don't think we can afford to let this happen. If software patents are
> > approved, and someone attacks kde, kde will have no means of defending
> > itself (successful defense against a patent lawsuit means getting the
> > patent invalidated, estimated legal cost : 500.000 euro (because they
> > will appeal right up to the superior court) per patent.
> The fact that the US patent office tends to be incompetent when it comes to
> granting patents does not mean that software patents themselves are a
> problem.
> That's just my initial thought and many here might disagree, of course. So
> far it seems like parties like IBM and Red Hat seem to be willing to defend
> projects like Linux from SCO, so I wouldn't see why companies wouldn't help
> KDE a hand in case someone attacks us. First of all, we'd only be in
> trouble if we'd actually would infringe on a patent, as I believe legal
> entities are still innocent until proven guilty.

So you believe kde does not violate any patent ? 

Also those companies you count on are very very unreliable, their motives are 
not like yours or mine, they are purely monetary. 

What if Microsoft decides they will get  more market share if they destroy KDE 
? (this is a hypothetical situation, not meant to be realistic, I know they 
have never used patents offensively, however, it astonishes me that they 
don't do this already)

Who will defend us against a mountain of patent lawsuits, every defense 
costing half a million dollars ? Who will defend us against even a single one 


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