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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Corrections Here | 113 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here
Authored by: OpenSourceFTW on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 02:06 PM EST
Please post correction in title.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks Thread
Authored by: OpenSourceFTW on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 02:07 PM EST
Please use links so we can find the stories after they scroll off the sidebar.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Thread
Authored by: OpenSourceFTW on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 02:09 PM EST
On topic posters will be forced to re-enact the eye rolling by Novell's lawyers
during the original trial.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes Thread
Authored by: OpenSourceFTW on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 02:10 PM EST
Post 'em here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Operating System definition
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 03:20 PM EST
While we drive for simplicity, this definition is too simple to be accurate.

In terms of what Novell meant by Operating System, it extends beyond the kernel.
It extends to the APIs provided in the shared libraries (DLL/Dynamic Link
Library in Microsoft terminology). The DLL provides the API which applications
use to access Operating System Services. The Operating System also extends to
utility applications, such as print spoolers. These applications are not meant
to be used directly, but through a well defined API, provided by a DLL. Novell
was expected to program to the interface provided by a DLL. The kernel typically
provides access via traps, but in Windows, those are not the documented APIs.
While Novell could have found the traps implementing the APIs they needed, since
there were not documented APIs, Microsoft could have changed them at any time.

Almost everything that comes on a Windows media is part of the OS, excluding
trivial applications such as Notepad and the games, and some OS utilities such
as the defragmenter, and the desktop UI. The simple rule is that if a user is
expected to run an application directly, it's an application, otherwise it's
part of the OS. Software run through the Control Panel probably fits into a grey
area, not quite application, but not quite OS.

In Linux terms, everything in section 2, 4, and 8 of the manual would be part of
the OS and it's APIs. Windows extends this to include everything equivalent to
section 3.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Patents Aren't Money
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 03:23 PM EST
Patents are not at all like currency. You can never have enough of them so that
your device isn't covered by someone else's patent: just look at the fact that
every single smartphone maker is in some kind of patent trouble. How can we
continue the polite lie that they "respect" IP when every single
person in the industry is an infringer? It's not the ordinary sort of respect,
but more like the kind you see among inmates. That is to say, the respect
anyone who can beat them up and no one else.

And it's no surprise that they're all infringers. Patents sit in the USPTO for
years before being granted and then emerge when the unsuspecting public has
already been practicing the "invention" for years. And, unlike money,
the worst patents--those covering ideas so simple that everyone else thought of
it too--are the most valuable, because the only ways to monetize a patent are
suing people and licensing it. And who wants to license a patent you couldn't
sue them over?

I thought about saying "software" patents, but I honestly think this
argument is more general than that. This system pits financial interests
against technical ones, even though it was intended to support innovation. It
needs a fundamental overhaul, especially where software is concerned.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"millions of source codes"
Authored by: gfim on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 04:24 PM EST
I've seen this in a number of places and it really grates on me! Source code is
an uncountable (or mass) noun - it doesn't have a quantity or a plural in normal
usage. You don't say "millions of waters", and likewise not
"millions of source codes". Instead you say "millions of litres
of water" or "millions of lines of source code". If Mr. Marriott
is to be quoted as an expert, he should get his terminology right.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: tz on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 05:23 PM EST
Middleware is an adapter that connects the low-level operating system with the
programs the user runs. Just like this sentence is both letters and words, the
OS is like the letters, but individual letters are too general, too little, too
small a piece, it is the words that have meaning. You can write using letters,
but you don't know the language. Latin and English and many other languages
share the same letters. But you can only write understandable sentences with a
dictionary for that language, not merely the alphabet.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Ian Al on Tuesday, November 27 2012 @ 12:10 PM EST
This is a nice explanation of how middleware can be a competitive threat to an operating system. It is from NY et al v. Microsoft:
One of middleware’s defining characteristics as a software product is its ability to “expos[e] its own APIs.” Eventually, reasoned Plaintiffs, if applications were written to rely on the middleware API set, rather than the Windows API set, the applications could be made to run on alternative operating systems simply by porting the middleware.

Ultimately, by writing to the middleware API set, applications developers could write applications which would run on any operating system on which the middleware was present.

Ian Al
Software Patents: It's the disclosed functions in the patent, stupid!

[ Reply to This | # ]

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