Re: Proposing UTF-21/24

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Tue Jan 23 2007 - 05:35:59 CST

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    On 1/23/2007 12:47 AM, Mark Davis wrote:
    > ...
    > facilitate the implementation of, BOCU-1." "Necessary to... the
    > implementation of" means you cannot implement BOCU without
    > infringing on
    > IBM's patent, unless IBM has granted you a license. IBM is known for
    > enforcing their IP patents, either sooner or later. I tried for
    > months
    > to obtain a developer-friendly clarification of this restriction --
    > something akin to the "freely available" clause in UTR #16
    > (UTF-EBCDIC) -- and was utterly unable to do so.
    > Did you ever actually try to get a licence from IBM? While I too would
    > far rather have seen BOCU-1 be freely available, the language says
    > "IBM would like to offer a royalty free license to this patent upon
    > request to implementers of a fully compliant version of BOCU-1"; if
    > you'd been denied a license that would be surprising.
    The language sounds like they could require you to prove that your fully
    compliant. If so, it would be interesting how that is done. So far, I've
    heard of nobody who's either successfully or unsuccessfully applied for
    a license. (I agree, it would be interesting to hear from anybody).

    I find the language unnecessarily restrictive and unclear in other
    respects. Just one example: To me, the word "implementer" implies that I
    have implemented something, but under patent law I can't even build a
    draft version of something without a license first. And a draft version
    is not fully compliant, so I can't qualify for a license for it. Hmm.
    Somehow, the words "for the purpose of" or "intent to" or something like
    that are missing from that text.

    I think the net effect of this patent language is to scare people off
    from working with BOCU, which will mean that it will remain (relatively)
    obscure, just what Doug claimed.


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