European Free Software / US patent issue

Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet galactus at
Fri Jan 17 20:19:40 UTC 2003

Niall Douglas wrote:
> On 16 Jan 2003 at 20:20, Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:
> > Non-commercial activities, including distribution, cannot
> > be an infringement in Europe (unlike the USA). A banner ad
> > on your personal homepage is a definite no-no in such a
> > situation though. 
> How can that be true? Surely then if I wanted to undermine my 
> competitor's patents, I could have a non-commercial group distribute 
> a clone of their product for free and thus depriving him of his 
> profits?

The non-commercial group would not be infringing *if* they
were indeed acting non-commercially. If the group so much
as asks for sponsors, they're in deep trouble.

And still no one can use the software from this group in
a commercial setting.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:

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