[pypy-dev] Intellectual property

Andrew McGregor andrew at indranet.co.nz
Mon Jan 13 21:43:16 CET 2003

--On Monday, January 13, 2003 10:36:30 -0800 David Ascher 
<DavidA at ActiveState.com> wrote:

> Bengt Richter wrote:
>> Can a copyright notice forbid patenting of the expressed ideas, assuming
>> it's the first public expression?
> I doubt it.

So long as you publish before the patent priority date, you have made the 
patent invalid just by publishing it at all.  But see below.

If the publication date was while the patent was being examined but before 
the patent was public, it's possible there may be a case for a challenge, 
but if after the patent was granted or published, whichever comes first, 
you're out of luck.

>> Just wondering what defense can be exercised through copyright. IANAL ;-)
> A _copyright_ is a statement of ownership.  The _license_ is where you
> can put whatever terms you want.
>  > And if something is published today, is
>  > it prior art invalidating claims of a patent application filed
> tomorrow?
> Yes, in theory, but you may have to challenge a patent in court post-hoc
> to make that point.

You *will* have to challenge, but the process is first to apply to the 
patent office to have it struck off, which is far cheaper than a court 
case.  The grounds for the challenge is that the patent applicant should 
have disclosed the prior expression of the idea, hence the date rules.


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