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Old 20th May 2012, 01:17 PM
mmix Offline
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A Sun Position Paper on Software Patents, 2006 ~pj



I can't find it on Oracle's website any more, but thanks to Internet Archive, we can find Sun Microsystems writing about software patents in 2006 and explaining its position. This was back when the European Union was for a while considering adopting software patents. You will not believe what Sun's position was. It's definitely relevant to the Oracle v. Google litigation.

Sun's position paper was titled, "Software Patents: A European Union (EU) Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions must not Jeopardize Interoperability." The title says it all, but I'm going to show the entire statement to you in all its glory, so Oracle can't pretend, as it tried unsuccessfully to do with the Jonathan Schwartz corporate blog, that it wasn't an official company statement. Sun strongly urged that Europe, if it adopted the Directive, "allow for the creation of products which can interoperate with the protected products to safeguard competition in the sector and to provide greater choice and lower costs for consumers."

Imagine that. Sun said publicly that interoperability was more important than IP rights, even patents, because it led to competition and hence greater choice and lower costs for consumers.

More from the position paper:

If Europe adopts a new Directive governing the patentability of CII's it is vital that it ensures that patents do not prevent software vendors from developing and offering products which are interoperable with patented software.

Sun therefore strongly supports provisions which clarify that a software patent cannot be used to prevent software developers from engaging in reverse engineering permitted under the 1991 Software Copyright Directive (91/250/EEC) for interoperability purposes where interfaces/source codes are not published.

Moreover, a new EU CII Directive should also provide an exception in EU Member States' patent law which ensures that making, using or selling products incorporating third party patented technology necessary for the purpose of creating interoperable products are not patent infringing. This latter and critical point is not covered by the European Council's Common Position which was adopted on 7 March 2005. Sun believes failure to adjust for this concern would harm the interests of European consumers, entrepreneurs and the EU economy.
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Old 20th May 2012, 04:16 PM
smr54 Online
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Posts: 7,100
Re: A Sun Position Paper on Software Patents, 2006 ~pj

It doesn't surprise me. My vague recollection is that we always pretty much considered Sun one of the good guys, and that was one reason people were nervous when Oracle bought them, as Oracle is considered one of the baddest of the bad guys.
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Old 20th May 2012, 04:34 PM
Dan Offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 24,099
Re: A Sun Position Paper on Software Patents, 2006 ~pj

There's not a damn thing wrong with Oracle ...

... that bankruptcy followed by a boatload of executive indictments can't cure. <....>
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Old 21st May 2012, 02:21 AM
Evil_Bert Offline
Retired Again - Administrator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: .
Posts: 3,413
Re: A Sun Position Paper on Software Patents, 2006 ~pj

I don't mind "little" projects that operate on a shoe-string re-compiling/e-badging GPL'd parts of RHEL .... that seems fair enough to me given the price structures for self-support that RH offers .... but when Oracle does it, that's just rude*. Oracle is big enough to develop it's own distro and should do so.

But, yeah, Sun were one of the good guys and it was sad to see them be absorbed and torn asunder.

* Sadly, business often is.
Marching to the beat of his own conundrum.
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Old 21st May 2012, 08:52 PM
SirReality Offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: bay area
Posts: 1
Re: A Sun Position Paper on Software Patents, 2006 ~pj

I went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo this weekend...

Walked in the main entrance to the expo hall...
and guess who has a booth...

Oracle... selling java as an open source solution..
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