[Haskell-cafe] Software patents covered in GHC?

Erik de Castro Lopo mle+hs at mega-nerd.com
Sat Jun 25 11:21:30 CEST 2011

Manuel M T Chakravarty wrote:

> That's right, but it doesn't help any of us anything.  The
> costs of defending against a patent claim (even if the claim
> can eventually be overturned) are much to high to bear for
> anybody, but major corporations.  In other words, it doesn't
> matter if you are right or wrong if you can't pay the legal
> bill.  This is not just theory as a fair number of mobile app
> developer recently found out:
>  http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/05/lodsys-sues-7-app-developers-in-eastern.html

Yep, patents are a bitch for small independant developers stuck
between Apple's onerous AppStore conditions and patent trolls
like Lodsys.

However, for open source projects like GHC, there are a number
of organisations like the Software Freedom Law Center:


that provide (at least some) patent defense for open source

Its also possible for open source projects to 'design around'
patent issues. For instance there was a patent on the VFAT
file format implementaion in the Linux kernel that was avoided
by careful reading of the patent and working around the patents


Erik de Castro Lopo

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