Microsoft prohibits GPLed work via licensing of CIFS standards

Alex Hudson home at
Tue Apr 9 05:38:57 UTC 2002

On Tue, 2002-04-09 at 06:00, alexander at wrote:
> 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. 

I think, but don't quote me ;), that we're actually only talking about
one patent here - 5,437,013. 5,265,261 appears to be an earlier version,
and at first sight Microsoft appear to have narrowed their claim from
the previous version. There is also supposed to be an even earlier
original claim, which has now been completely disclaimed - if anyone can
find it, it would be interesting (I don't think the UKPTO passed it?).

What the patent appears to be is a claim on raw-mode network access,
along the lines of libpcap or something - an efficient way of
marshalling streams of data from applications and the network stack to
the wire so that it actually makes sense. I would be astonished if there
was no good prior art on this; the claim is from ~1993. Even if there is
no prior art, I can't believe that it's even vaguely original.

So, it looks like that Samba doesn't infringe on this patent (unless it
requires raw access for broadcasts or something?) as-is. But it also
looks like this patent could be dangerous for applications beyond those
that implement/use SMB - it looks like even tcpdump would infringe :(



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