Point 1. This is a legal question.
Comp.lang.fortran isn't a very good place to ask legal questions. We
often discuss the "legality" of Fortran code, but that's a sloppy,
informal use of the word (even though I use it that way myself.)
Point 2. This is a legal question.
Yes, I know that was point 1, but it is also point 2. Usenet is not a
good place to get legal advice - not in any newsgroup. I despise dealing
with lawyers myself. It would take a long and off-topic essay to express
the depths of my dislike for dealing with them. I had to deal with some
earlier this week and will again next week, reminding me of how much I
hate it. (I'll be getting money from these dealings, but I still hate
them). However.... yours is a legal question, and that *IS* what lawyers
Whatever reason you might have for trying to get legal advice on usenet,
it isn't good enough reason. It is such a bad idea that it is one of the
cannonical bad ideas often expressed in such comparisons as "that's as
bad an idea as trying to get legal advice from usenet." Any answers to
legal matters you get here are worse than worthless... literally,
because it is better to not know the answer than to think you know it
and be wrong. Asking questions like this on usenet is likely to get
answers from people who don't know the difference between patents,
copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, etc., but don't let that
ignorance stand in the way of giving answers.
My own ignorant answer :-) is that the question is far more complicated
than you realize (which is why you should ask a lawyer). There was a
time when algorithms were not patentable. But the laws got stretched,...
and changed. I'm not sure that there is any kind of thing today that
someone hadn't managed to patent. You and I are probably infringing on
patents by living, because portions of our own DNA are patented; I'm
hoping we won't get a cease and desist order. :-( The rules vary from
place to place, and time to time. The EU has recently been debating
changes in their patent law. Have I mentioned that the question isn';t
Of course, finding a good lawyer isn't simple either. I'm afraid I can't
advise you on that one.
Richard Maine | Good judgement comes from experience;
email: last name at domain . net | experience comes from bad judgement.
domain: summertriangle | -- Mark Twain