Microsoft prohibits GPLed work via licensing of CIFS standards

alexander at alexander at
Tue Apr 9 05:00:34 UTC 2002

my name is alexander braun and I did not contribute much to the
discussions yet.
I'm not sure if I understood the topic correctly, but I looked up the
two patents.

though IANAL:
is it possible to attack patent no.  5,265,261 due to terms of prior
art? I only read the abstract but it seems to me it is a clear
description of tcp/ip but with an initial date from 1993. and i don't
see any difference to 5,437,013. 
both patents talk of :

   A method and system for sending data from a first computer through a
   communications line to a second computer. The second computer includes
   a redirector, a transport, a data buffer, and an application
   program. The method and system provides the transport with a read
   request to send data from the first computer to the second computer,
   and with a receive network control block which directs the transport
   to store the next data it receives directly in the data buffer. The
   transport sends the read request to the first computer. The first
   computer stores the data identified by the read request in a data
   block without a header. The first computer transmits the data block
   over the communications line to the transport. Using information
   contained in the network control block, the transport stores the
   requested data without the header directly in the data buffer.

in the abstract. Propabely I missed soemthing, but for my
NO-Lawyer-ears this sounds like a common description of two computers
in _any_ network.

Attacking these patents will not help to protect SAMBA as a whole,
because M$ will insist on the IPR-stuff, but perhaps it might
help delaying the battle.
(because it's an american patent this might be an action of the

Alexander Braun

On Fri, Apr 05, 2002 at 05:35:59PM +0200, Alexandre Dulaunoy wrote:
> Microsoft prohibits GPLed work via licensing of CIFS standards
> Posted 4 Apr 2002 by atai (Journeyer)
> In its continuous battle against the GPL, Microsoft is trying a new 
> tactic, a combination of patent claims and licensing of technical 
> standards. In the "Royalty-Free CIFS Technical Reference License 
> Agreement", Microsoft defines the GNU GPL as an "IPR Impairing License" 
> and requires companies not to distribute their implementations of the CIFS 
> specification "in any manner that would subject such Company 
> Implementation to the terms of an IPR Impairing License." This attack is 
> clearly aimed at the successful GPLed CIFS implementation, Samba.
> The license defines
> 1.4 "IPR Impairing License" shall mean the GNU General Public License, the 
> GNU Lesser/Library General Public License, and any license that requires 
> in any instance that other software distributed with software subject to 
> such license (a) be disclosed and distributed in source code form; (b) be 
> licensed for purposes of making derivative works; or (c) be 
> redistributable at no charge.
> and
> 1.6 "Necessary Claims" shall mean those claims of a patent or patent 
> application, including without limitation, United States Patents Nos. 
> 5,265,261 and 5,437,013, which (a) are owned, controlled or sublicenseable 
> by Microsoft without payment of a fee to an unaffiliated third party; and 
> (b) are necessarily infringed by implementing the CIFS communication 
> protocol as set forth in the Technical Reference, wherein a claim is 
> necessarily infringed only when there are no technically reasonable 
> alternatives to such infringement.
> And it requires
> 3.3 IPR Impairing License Restrictions. For reasons, including without 
> limitation, because (i) Company does not have the right to sublicense its 
> rights to the Necessary Claims and (ii) Company's license rights hereunder 
> to Microsoft's intellectual property are limited in scope, Company shall 
> not distribute any Company Implementation in any manner that would subject 
> such Company Implementation to the terms of an IPR Impairing License. 
> -- 
> Alexandre Dulaunoy AD993-RIPE
> "People who fight may lose.  People who do not fight have already lost."
>   - Bertolt Brecht
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