European Free Software / US patent issue

Benja Fallenstein b.fallenstein at
Thu Jan 16 20:02:52 UTC 2003

Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:
> If there is a US patent, there may be a corresponding European
> patent (strictly speaking, not a 'EU patent' - different treaty)
> or aplication. You can go to and enter
> the US patent number in the "number search" box. You'll then
> be presented with any corresponding European patents or applications.
> If there is a "B1" on that page, it's a patent. The "A1" and "A2"
> are applications.

Entering just the number (6262736) produced no results; entering 
US6262736 found the US patent. Is it correct if I interpret as there not 
being a European patent?

> You may want to read more about patent law at the site in
> my .sig. 

Can't find a site in your .sig?
> -- Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself 

> Non-commercial activities, including distribution, cannot
> be an infringement in Europe (unlike the USA). 

Wow, interesting. But I guess that wouldn't help, since we cannot be 
Free Software if we cannot allow others to use our program commercially.

Then again, if there is no European patent, that issue is only 
theoretical anyway...

Thanks for your help!
- Benja

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