[postgis-devel] Xing Lin's SoC project (raster support)
robe.dnd at cityofboston.gov
Fri Jul 13 11:54:56 PDT 2007
It might actually make sense to post this to the postgis users group as well even though it is a developer topic. I recall this was a hot topic in the postgis users group in December, and kind of died off around that time.
I think the poster of the document in question was probably Stephen Marshall given the note above. I'm not sure if he reads the dev listings though.
Hope that helps,
From: postgis-devel-bounces at postgis.refractions.net on behalf of Tim Keitt
Sent: Fri 7/13/2007 11:43 AM
To: Xing Lin
Cc: PostGIS Development Discussion
Subject: Re: [postgis-devel] Xing Lin's SoC project (raster support)
Can anyone comment on whether there is any current effort to implement
PGRaster as described in the wiki?
On 7/13/07, Xing Lin <solo.lin at gmail.com> wrote:
> I found a design documentation of PGRaster from the wiki of PostGIS, which
> have a similar idea about PGRaster as a UDT.
> Seem that somebody has already thought about it and might quite this UDT for
> the same problem of Patent.
> On 7/13/07, Tim Keitt < tkeitt at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 7/13/07, Tom Lane < tgl at sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:
> > > "Tim Keitt" <tkeitt at gmail.com> writes:
> > > > On 7/12/07, Xing Lin < solo.lin at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >> Could we just take a modified version from Oracle GeoRaster or we
> can't take
> > > >> anything even the idea of georaster model. But it is very common in
> > > >> GeoScience and how could we avoid using it?
> > >
> > > > My understanding is that the patent covers the method of
> > > > implementation, not the idea. You can use the same idea, but the
> > > > implementation cannot be the same as described in the patent.
> > >
> > > No, it's much grimmer than that :-(. Patent law is exactly about
> > > patenting *ideas* --- you may have confused it with copyright law,
> > > which is about restricting specific expressions of an idea.
> > Idea is too vague here -- I was referring to the concept that you
> > cannot patent for example a mathematical equation, but you can patent
> > a business process that employs the equation in the development of a
> > product. If I'm not mistaken, one can work around patents by finding
> > an independent method to achieve the same result (not by simply
> > substituting different names for the same functions as I might have
> > seemed to imply).
> > >
> > > To be sure you've steered clear of a patent, you have to be sure
> > > you have not used any ideas described in the "claims" of the patent.
> > But the "ideas" refer to processes or methods (at least in principle).
> > You can't patent the idea of a mouse trap, only a method of trapping
> > mice. Someone who builds a better mouse trap can patent their method.
> > >
> > > Now this game is rigged against you, because the normal structure of
> > > patent claims is about like this:
> > > 1. I claim the universe.
> > > 2. I claim the Milky Way galaxy.
> > > 3. I claim the moon, the sun and the stars.
> > > 4. OK, I just claim the moon.
> > > 5. I claim Tycho Crater.
> > > and if the thing ever gets dragged to court, the judge will throw out
> > > the first several claims and only allow the most specific ones that
> > > clearly don't match any prior art. But if you aren't versed in
> > > patent law and art, it's hard to tell just where the threshold of
> > > silliness lies. And in any case it'll cost a lot to vindicate
> > > your opinion in court.
> > >
> > > (Shouldn't the USPTO have rejected the overly-broad claims, you
> > > ask? Well, if they weren't utterly dysfunctional they would have.)
> > Yup.
> > >
> > > > I still agree though that the patent is probably overly broad and
> > > > covers things that have been done many times in academia and
> > > > elsewhere. The problem is that even if it is invalid owing to prior
> > > > art, the cost of defending against a claim is prohibitive.
> > >
> > > Right, the real problem is in whether you are willing to bet $lots
> > > that you can prevail against a patent troll.
> > That's the rub.
> > THK
> > >
> > > regards, tom lane
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > postgis-devel mailing list
> > > postgis-devel at postgis.refractions.net
> > >
> > >
> > --
> > Timothy H. Keitt, University of Texas at Austin
> > Contact info and schedule at http://www.keittlab.org/tkeitt/
> > Reprints at http://www.keittlab.org/tkeitt/papers/
> > ODF attachment? See http://www.openoffice.org/
> Xing Lin
> KTH - Royal Institute of Technology [Kungliga Tekniska högskolan]
> SE-100 44 Stockholm
Timothy H. Keitt, University of Texas at Austin
Contact info and schedule at http://www.keittlab.org/tkeitt/
Reprints at http://www.keittlab.org/tkeitt/papers/
ODF attachment? See http://www.openoffice.org/
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