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Apple Inc.

Apple inc. has software patents and has used them aggressively (see Litigation By Apple).

Blocking World Wide Web standards

The w3c is the consortium which develops standards for the World Wide Web. Apple have been accused of making abusive use of the w3c patent procedures[1] in their assertions in 2009[2], 2010[3] and in 2011.[4][5]


(Note: be careful to add only disputes about software patents, not hardware patents.)

Court cases and lawsuits involving Apple...

By Apple

Against Apple

Speculation about LLVM

There are no known granted patents, owned by Apple, which would be needed for someone to make a clone of the LLVM compiler.

Apple is a major contributor to LLVM. LLVM is free software, distributed under an X11-style permissive licence. This is a common type of licence, containing no explicit patent protection for recipients of the software.

Can you help? LLVM's contributor policy[1] asks contributors to give free access to necessary patents. Has Apple done this? Reminder: If Apple is found to have been granted patents on LLVM ideas, we should check if those ideas are implemented in LLVM's repository (covered by LLVM's patent policy) or if they're for non-contributed extensions.

Apple has applied for a patent on "Converting javascript into a device-independent representation" which claims:[8]

1. A method for processing computer code, comprising: storing a device-independent intermediate representation of a source code; and in the event an indication is received that the source code has changed, using the changed source code to generate and store a new intermediate representation of the changed source code.
8. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the intermediate representation comprises LLVM intermediate representation (IR), LLVM byte code or other byte code, or another appropriate intermediate representation.

"LLVM IR" is also mentioned in the application's "Detailed description" but only as an example. The specific mention, at [0016] in the application, reads:

Converting code written in an interpreted language, such as JavaScript, into an intermediate representation, such as LLVM intermediate representation or another storable intermediate representation, is disclosed.

Prior art babble

There are no accusations or threats of litigation, so no one is in need of prior art. Still, some people have discussed it for hypothetical situations. Suggestions can be briefly noted here.

But keep in mind that prior art has to predate a specific patent, and has to accurately describe the specific idea allegedly infringed by the attacked software. Since there's no litigation, and thus no specific patent or specific piece of software, this discussion is just a collection of very general starting points.

Patents where "LLVM" refers to something else

Some of Apple's patents use the abbreviation "LLVM" to refer to other things, such as "low-level virtual memory", as used in US 6263421, titled Virtual memory system that is portable between different CPU types.

Confusing this LLVM with the compiler named LLVM would be a silly mistake which should be avoided.

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