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Independent invention defence

Red alert.png What this entry documents is not a solution.
This practice may be ineffective or useless in the long term.
ESP's position is that abolition of software patents is the only solution.

One proposal to reduce the harm of software patents is an independent invention defence.

Note: this is only proposed in hypothetical discussions. There are no known proposals or laws that actually implement this idea.

(NEEDS CHECKING) The general idea would be that if a developer does not copy the work of a patent holder (or licensee?) then any infringement would be coincidental, or "independent", and would be permitted.

Regarding standards

This would solve some problems of access to standards, but not all.

Example #1: If a company patents an idea and builds a standard around it, you would have to look at their work if you want to be compatible, so your software would not be "independent". This defence wouldn't help you.

Example #2: If a Company-A builds a standard, and you look at that Company-A's work and write something compatible, and you then get threatened by Company-B, you (and Company-A) could use the independent invention defence.

Related pages on ESP Wiki

External links

Law Antitrust law · Free software exception · Interoperability exception · Loser-Pays rule · Patent review by the public · Raising examination standards · Independent invention defense · Reducing patent duration
Litigation Invalidating harmful patents · Suing makers of unfounded accusations
Licenses Patent clauses in software licenses
Prior art Defensive publication and prior art databases
Company practice Buying harmful patents · Changing company patent policies · Defensive patent acquisition · Insurance against patent litigation · Non-aggression promise to employees · Patent non-aggression pacts · Blanket patent licences and promises