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Re: Sharing the Family PC is Patent-Pending

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: Sharing the Family PC is Patent-Pending
Date: Fri, 07 May 2004 17:45:06 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.4 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <c7go5b$18r$>,
 "Bernd Jendrissek" <> wrote:

> In article <> Barry
> Margolin <> wrote:
> >In article <>,
> > Bruce Hayden <> wrote:
> >> Haven't looked at the application, but I would be surprised that
> >> if just that much was new and nonobvious.  Seems like Mac
> >> and UNIX have had such for awhile.
> >
> >The part about fast switching between users has been in MacOS for a 
> >couple of years, but I don't think Unix has it at all (su changes the 
> >userid, but it doesn't bring up the new user's desktop environment).
> Linux + XFree86:
> Ctrl+Alt+F1/F2/F3...

In any case, a patent doesn't just cover the end result, it covers the 
*method* used to obtain that result.  So unless the techniques used in 
Linux or MacOS render the technique used in Windows obvious, the patent 
may indeed be reasonable.  I haven't read the patent application, and 
I'm not familiar with the internal workings of the Linux and MacOS 
implementations, so I can't tell how similar they are.

As an analogy, the existence of staplers would not prevent someone from 
patenting other ways of fastening papers together.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA

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