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Ask SIashdot: How to Write Legal Software?

craznar (710808) writes | more than 2 years ago

Software 4

craznar (710808) writes "I am a professional software developer, currently writing some 'high-tech' point of sale software with some pretty unique features in it. The company I work for is a start up and doesn't have much in the way of financial resources.

Almost all of the code is my design, the over all structure is my design — but it uses a stack of novel approaches to problems that I worked out with customers over a period of a year or more.

This brings me to my primary concern — how many patents am I unknowingly breaking, how on earth can I possibly find out, and fundamentally is it at all possible to actually write software free of patent infringement any more.

For the moment, ignore the patent infringements in your purchased (and or open source) development libraries and development tools and focus the question just on the parts I have developed and written myself ?"

4 comments

money talks (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37104394)

unless you start making a crapload of money from your software, nobody will bother you re patents. no offence but i don't see you making a crapload of money.

Re:money talks (1)

craznar (710808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37105926)

It is looking like it about to take off, a significant amount of interest is starting to build.

However, a crap load of money means different things to different people. If the software takes in $100 million over the next few years (which is possible) that is a crapload of money to me - but probably chicken feed to many others.

code (1)

JohnVanVliet (945577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37104596)

"how many patents am I unknowingly breaking"
imposable to know .
--------
"how on earth can I possibly find out"
you can not , there is no Chrystal ball ,
that is a 100% unknown factor
-------
"and fundamentally is it at all possible to actually write software free of patent infringement any more."

it is NOT a possibility when someone can sue over "infringing" on the "x" for closing a window
or that your corners are too round
 

Ignorance may be bliss (1)

CoffeeDog (1774202) | more than 2 years ago | (#37108584)

IANAL, but in the US if you know about a patent and infringe upon it then that's considered "willful" infringement and they can triple the damages against you. Therefore many people in your position don't look at any patents whatsoever so they can plead innocence if a patent infringement occurs and minimize any potiential settlement. If you start looking for and reading over patents to try and cover your ass, you may end up digging a deeper hole later on. Given the huge number and scope of some patents, even if you do look you may miss one or think that one doesn't apply when a lawyer/judge thinks otherwise. If you start pulling in large amounts of cash, keep a good laywer on retainer and pray none of the big guys with large portfolios decide to come after you.
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