Re: in the NEW YORK TIMES today, report of a USA patent for a methodto make the Arabic language easier to read/write/typeset

From: C J Fynn (
Date: Mon Mar 15 2004 - 20:24:05 EST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: in the NEW YORK TIMES today, report of a USA patent for a met hod to make the Arabic language easier to read/write/typeset"

    I thought to get a patent you were supposed to invent something new and not

    Other than the shape of the letters (which are apparently derivative) what is
    novel about a script which doesn't have complex shaping behaviour (whether for
    writing Arabic or any other language) ?

    I can understand someone claiming copyright for the design or shape of letters
    if they are unique - but nothing else in this seems like an "invention". It is
    little different from representing Arabic letters by their Unicode code
    alues - or any other unique symbol for each letter.

    - Chris

    CJ Fynn
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Ernest Cline" <> wrote:
    > > [Original Message]
    > > From: Michael Everson <>
    > >
    > > In the NEW YORK TIMES today
    > > comes a report of a USA patent for a new version of written Arabic
    > > letters, designed to make them easier to read/write/typeset without
    > > making them too different from traditional Arabic script:
    > > -
    > >
    > > The piece includes a photo of the new style.
    > For those who are interested, a text-only version of the patents
    > are available at the US Patent Office website [1].  The relevant
    > patent numbers are 6,701,446 and D435,584.
    > I'm not a lawyer, but a quick perusal makes me think that there
    > is nothing that will affect Unicode per se.   Font designers
    > will have to not produce a font that embodies Mr. Abulhab's
    > principles without his permission.  Since his font departs
    > radically from Arabic convention, I don't think that except
    > for the possibility that this patent might be used a precedent
    > for something really important that a patent might mess up that
    > there is much to worry about here.
    > Oh and by the way, the timing is probably due to the patent
    > having been just issued on the 9th.
    > [1]

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