[Haskell-cafe] Re: US Patent for the idea ...

jerzy.karczmarczuk at info.unicaen.fr jerzy.karczmarczuk at info.unicaen.fr
Fri Apr 16 15:58:46 EDT 2010

Brian Hulley reports a search similar to :

>    haskell unicode bidirectional 
> revealed a link to a US Patent (7120900) for the idea of implementing the 
> Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm (UAX #9 
> http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr9) in Haskell, making use, as far as I 
> can tell, of nothing more than the normal approach any functional 
> programmer would use, namely separation of concerns etc. 
> The link is http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7120900.html though I think 
> it would be better if they had just called the website "free handcuffs 
> online" because that is what it amounts to when people succeed in 
> preventing others from using ideas, especially ideas everyone would easily 
> think up by themselves. 
> Before going further I would like to explicitly state that I would not 
> wish to cast any aspersions upon the people or companies involved in this 
> patent, since it is all too clear to me that these people have acted in a 
> perfectly legal way and are just doing their various jobs: /.../

Comment irrelevant to Haskell, sorry.
Everybody does his/her various jobs. But I lost all respect due to people
who work in the US Patent Office, when I saw the patent 6,025,810, a patent
for an antenna which sends signals faster than light, using some mysterious
new dimension. Or the U.S. Patent 6,960,975 for an anti-gravity device.
It seems that although it is illegal to break some local regulations, the
idea of breaking fundamental physical laws remains perfectly legal. (In
some countries...) 

Somebody finally decided to ridiculise the system. If you want a good laugh,
see the patent 6,368,227. The search site is here: 


Best regards. 

Jerzy Karczmarczuk 

PS. concerning the patent 7120900. The authors appropriate this
bi-directional display in Haskell, Erlang, SML, Lisp, Scheme and Miranda.
So, please, hurry up, and before they wake up, implement your stuff in Ocaml
or Clean. Or better, get a relevant patent yourself.

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