[mrtg] Re: [OT] Software Patents

Tobias Oetiker oetiker at ee.ethz.ch
Thu Sep 4 22:38:31 MEST 2003

Today Edson Manners wrote:

>   What I guess I'm really asking is how exactly could this affect MRTG
> itself. I'm over in the US so any effect it will have on me would be
> minimal at most but I'm just curious as to how it can affect this piece
> of software (MRTG) for example. The only answers that I could think of
> myself were so ridiculous that I can't see any way in which *any*
> legislators could take software patents seriously.


In the US you have software patents today ... look what it got you
... it seems that there is nothing too silly to be patent. On Click
Orders come to mind ... I am realy glad we are not there yet in
Europe and I hope we will stay that way.

Regarding MRTG, chances are that we are not threatned all that much
because MRTG is an old player and could probably even serve as
prior art in certain disputes. But on the other hand, the way MRTG
stores its data, using a log file which thins out with time might
well have been patenten worthy ... I certanly did not copy
this idea from anyone, but at the same time someone (rich) may
have had the idea before me, and gone quietly to the patent office
to have it patented ... Suddenly I would be faced with charges for
using this invention without permission or whatnot ...


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