Links about today's MS-EC deal

Hannes Hauswedell hannes at
Tue Oct 23 00:41:11 UTC 2007

Hi everyone:
First of all, how can the "deal" include a patent grant (or patent license) if 
there are no such things as software patents in the EU?
I never understood this whole globalized patent thing anyway...

Lets say I write a piece of software (here in Germany) that implements 
something that is patented under US-Jurisdiction. 
Everyone worlwide can download this software from my homepage and the GPL 
tells them that there are no patents (or that I grant everyone rights to do 
whatever) - which is completely right from my point of view, BUT still 
someone in the US holds a patent on something done with my software.
Now where is the flaw?
Does the GPL legally prevent me from releasing the code at all? (that would be 
me violating the law in my home country)
Or am I not allowed to distribute this piece of software internationally? 
(that would be me violating American law by releasing software on a German 
Or are US-Citizins not allowed to download the software? (that would be 
Americans not able to exercise the rights they are granted by the GPL)

so confusing...

Anyway, more ontopic:
The Groklaw-article says that Technologies that are patented (in the US) may 
not be implemented in GPL-Code because the GPL prohibits these "patent 
If this is the case, how can this decision be acceptable?

Will FSFE appeal the courts' decision?


Am Montag 22 Oktober 2007 21:48:51 schrieb Ciaran O'Riordan:
> Groklaw story with transcript from Sean Daly of the post announcement press
> Q&A with Neelie Kroes of the EC:
> EC's press statement:
> EC's FAQ:
> An NY Times article quoting our own Georg:
> and MS's PR:

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