[OSGeo-Discuss] Fw: Re: New Google Mapping Patent

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Tue Jan 9 09:12:15 PST 2007

Landon Blake wrote:
> I wonder if the OSGeo could set up a group to review US patent applications
> filed for geospatial technologies and applications.
> I'm not sure how many of these types of patents are filed every week, but it
> would be nice to have a group of experts looking over the patent office's
> shoulder.
> Then again, Autodesk might not be too hot about the idea of the OSGeo
> reviewing its patent applications for geospatial applications.


I am not keen on getting too involved in patent related activities.

For one thing, it tends to be "laywer intensive" which sooner or later will
mean "expensive".  Second, I suspect that customer oriented businesses like
Google or Autodesk primarily file such patents for defensive use.  I doubt
there is much risk of them being used against free software and so effort
spent fighting them is essentially wasted.

Should we find an open source geospatial project threatened by legal action
from a patent holder of a baseless patent, I think it would be more likely
we might get actively involved.

Note, I'm speaking for myself, not on behalf of a consensus position of the

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, http://osgeo.org

More information about the Discuss mailing list