[OpenBIOS] Intel holding back information

Tim Small tim at swift.amat.com
Fri Aug 13 18:26:56 CEST 1999

Stephan Mueller wrote:

> Am Mon, 09 Aug 1999, schriebst du:
> >On Sun, 8 Aug 1999, James Oakley wrote:
> >
> >> http://www.patents.ibm.com/details?pn=US05732268__
> >>
> >> That does *not* look good.
> This patent only convers communication over network, analog modems and isdn.
> not a simple serial link, as i can read at ibm´s page.

On the same thread, many companies routinely patent anything that any of their
employees can think of - the performance of patent clerks in the US is assessed
on the number of patents approved (not the number processed).

There are vast numbers of patents registered (especially software patents) which
embody ideas that are so obvious they are practically humorous - "infringements"
of such patents would never stand up to legal challenge, and indeed are never
likely to be challenged.  Patents of this type amount to little more than scare
tactics by company legal departments.

There has been much talk of disassembly on this mailing list recently, but is
there *really* need for disassembly for the completion of a free BIOS?  Examples
of usage of practically all BIOS functions should be present in code for which
source code is available, or for which textually descriptions are openly
available - shouldn't it be possible to use a black box approach whilst creating
a new BIOS?

I don't know the exact legal implications of using such an approach but I would
imagine they are fewer, and less serious than disassembly.


p.s. Dude, perhaps if you learn assembler, i've heard that's great.. and visit
developer.intel.com ;-)

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