Microsoft prohibits GPLed work via licensing of CIFS standards

M E Leypold @ labnet leypold at
Tue Apr 9 10:45:59 UTC 2002

alexander at writes:
 > hi,
 > 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.
 > """

If you ask me, if patents on software should ever be allowed, it
should be required that the description is accompanied by a formal
specification in a common modelling language, like Z, Larch, VDM or
whatever. This would clarify what the people really mean, avoid spongy
description like the above, and be actually a real win for other
people going to implement the stuff. And patents would be much less
:-], and equivalence could be decidable.

Regards -- Markus

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