Openmoko keyboard mockup

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Tue Jan 6 11:47:40 CET 2009

On Tue, 06 Jan 2009 13:37:41 +0300 Paul Fertser <fercerpav at> babbled:

> Hi,
> Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) <raster at> writes:
> >> what exactly is patented that could not be reimplemented?
> ...
> >> - completing a word from a dictionary based on the already available  
> >> string is done by several keyboard apps (even xvkbd afaik) w/o violating  
> >> any patents
> >
> > the last bit is patented. matching it to a dictionary (when combined with
> > the first 2). this is the patent. when combined with a numberpad and key
> > combinations per number - to use a dictionary to auto-guess the key you
> > wanted without having to cycle through all keys with multiple presses on a
> > key.
> But isn't it a "software patent" and therefore unenforceable in any
> sane jurisdiction?
> It seems many people just can't believe how bad "software patents" are
> if they can be enforced. So bad it's hard to imagine.

you might be surprised how many jurisdictions its enforceable in. several
companies have been taken to court and lost over this patent - having to pay
up. and they had to pay up big-time. millions of $. now you can do your own
software for your own "software patents can go suck a duck" world - but the
moment that software goes to major markets in the world and is distributed
and/or used - people are in danger of litigation over a successfully defended
patent. and even worse - they are up for extra damages as you now KNOW about
the patent - if you don't know you get off lighter. the moment it can be shown
you knew and violated it anyway... you are in deep trouble.

yes - software patents suck - but they are a reality of life unfortunately. i
wish they didn't exist. even places where software patents don't apply - they
are normally enforceable when COMBINED with hardware. so that means OM can't
ever ship a product with such an input system so it's useless to om as its
combined with hardware - even if it's an extra download later - OM is directly
involved in development of the software and hosting repositories of software to
download etc. etc. so they are playing with fire even having anything to do
with such an input method.

------------- Codito, ergo sum - "I code, therefore I am" --------------
The Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler)    raster at

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