On Wed, 2004-03-24 at 17:52, NW Dublin wrote:
> "To the extent that any of this interface information might be protected
> by intellectual property in the European Economic Area, Microsoft would
> be entitled to reasonable remuneration."
What the hell does "protected by intellectual property" mean?!
"Don't come any closer! I'm protected by intellectual property!"
> Who knows what Intellectual Property means in the EEA and how it could
> be applied to interfaces? Can an interface be patented, copyrighted or
> trademarked (which is what I understand people generally mean with
Patented: no, in theory (for now). In practice, they might be covered as
part of a software-based invention. In the future some patent
might become valid.
Copyright: they have copyright on their implementation, but not on an
independently created one.
Trademark: a competing implementation can't describe itself in terms of
Microsoft trademarks without acknowledging them.
Trade secrets: if they're being forced to disclose the interface they
can't simultaneously claim it's a trade secret.
> Has the EU Commission just said that an interface can contain
> IP? Have they just closed out Free software from the game? Who will
> decide what is IP and hence what MS must disclose and what they can hide
> under the IP card?
If the quote above is accurate then I'm shocked that anything so vague
would be part of the verdict.
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