[music-dsp] patents (the softsynth was patented 1997)

Tom Duff td at pixar.com
Mon Oct 16 12:23:18 EDT 2000

>There is no exception to patent infringement for "not making money"
>on a project.  There is the exception that anyone can make and
>use a patented invention themselves but only for research purposes.

I'm sorry but, at least in the US, there is no such exception.
With patents, all unlicensed use infringes, regardless of the
user's intent -- there is no `fair use' provision, as there
is with copyrights.

I once spent several hours going around on exactly this point with
a very good patent attorney, and his position (which struck me
as morally unsatisfactory) was that such use is infringing, but
only a fool would initiate an action on such grounds, since the
chance of proving anything (negligable) multiplied by the possible
damage (zero) was so small.

Tom Duff.  He uses attention to detail to compensate for lack of

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