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RE: [ccp4bb]: License required for deposited structures!

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Sometimes patents are filed for purely defensive reasons - that is, to
prevent some other moron from patenting the same trivial thing and then
forcing you to spend even more money fighting it than if you had just paid
for it up front.


-----Original Message-----
From: Favre-Nicolin Vincent [mailto:vincefn@users.sourceforge.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 1:35 PM
To: 'CCP4 Bulletin Board'
Subject: Re: [ccp4bb]: License required for deposited structures!

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***          CCP4 home page http://www.ccp4.ac.uk         ***

> > > this is not true either - information in patents may be used for
> > > non-commercial purposes (such as academic research)
> >
> >    No. Patents _also_ apply to non-commercial projects. However in
> > _practice_, seldom will a company file a lawsuit against a
> > project because it does not make sense financially speaking. But
> > strictly, if a
> > non-commercial project (say, a freely available software) uses a patent
> > and reduces the financial earnings of the patent holder, then there can
> > be prosecution (and the project can be shut down).
> you're confusing research and products. you can use information contained
> in patents for research purposes. obviously you cannot start producing a
> patented drug in your lab or kitchen and handing it out for free. also, if
> your research that uses patented information results in a new marketable
> product or invention, you will need to negotiate some licensing
> with the patent holder

   Well, as you say you cannot hand out for free something that is patented,

so patents _do_ apply to non-commercial products. This is a crucial problem 
for free software, of which our community is hungry for.

> > > also keep in mind that many things
> > > cannot be patented (in sweden: theories, discoveries, computer
> > > programs, teaching methods, objets d'art, disease treatments, etc. in
> > > the us, disease treatments and computer programs can be patentable,
> > > though). other things that are good to know: a patent can only be
> > > obtained for a functioning technical solution to a problem, which is
> > > both novel and non-obvious, and only the inventor can apply for a
> > > patent.
> >
> >    Very idealistic ! You _can_ gain a patent very trivial ideas,
> > unfortunately (and it'd cost you 10000-100000 €/$ to prove it _is_
> > trivial). And as for the
> even if you succeed - why would you do it ? it costs a lot of money to get
> a patent and you cannot hope to regain those costs (plus any legal
> to fight possible infringements)

   trivial patents are a way to earn money which _is_ used, e.g. see the 
amazon "one-click buy" patent, or http://www.youmaybenext.com/ about
e-commerce, etc... Of course as an individual I would not do it.
   Who wants to patent "one-click structure determination" ??

Vincent Favre-Nicolin
Université Joseph Fourier
ObjCryst & Fox : http://objcryst.sourceforge.net

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