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

Landon Blake lblake at ksninc.com
Tue Jan 9 09:20:38 PST 2007


You make some excellent points.

I was only thinking that a patent might be easier to challenge during
the application process than after it was granted.

I know I would probably be better of investing my time on the open
source projects I work with.

Still, I find it disturbing that companies like Google feel the need to
apply for patents on what seems to be to use of pretty basic
cartographic principles. I'll leave this topic open for more discussion.
Perhaps I'll throw up a post about it in my OpenJUMP blog this week.


-----Original Message-----
From: mail_discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:mail_discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Frank
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 9:12 AM
To: OSGeo Foundation Discuss List
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Fw: Re: New Google Mapping Patent

Landon Blake wrote:
> I wonder if the OSGeo could set up a group to review US patent
> 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
> 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
mean "expensive".  Second, I suspect that customer oriented businesses
Google or Autodesk primarily file such patents for defensive use.  I
there is much risk of them being used against free software and so
spent fighting them is essentially wasted.

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

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

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,

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