[Fsfe-ie] Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Patented videoshop opens in Wales

Bernhard Kaindl bernhard.kaindl at gmx.de
Tue Dec 9 02:01:17 CET 2003

On Mon, 8 Dec 2003, Robert Dewar wrote:

> > And even if there was such a law, it's still the decision of the
> > patent holders, what price they demand. They can exclude everyone by
> > adjusting the price. And there's no reason why they shouldn't define
> > different prices depending on who wants to use the patent...
> Differential pricing is tricky, any such scheme can easily run afoul
> of anti-trust laws.

I agree, but while admitting that not being an expert, I'd like to add my

1) Secret, individual negotiations:

I agree that "defining different prices depending on who wants the patent"
is not something somebody would do in the open, but I think the licensing
company can always just do individual negotiations under NDA so that no
one gets to hear the price and what has been discussed in the negotiations.

Such price could be easily get lower or compensated by cross-licensing,
so there is some advantage in being able to cross-license when opposed
to not being able to take part in such deal.

(e.g. very small Linux distributors like Mandrake and Conectiva likely
 would not have the possibiltiy to do effective cross-licensing)

IMHO, patent pools(I think of MPEG, GSM, UMTS, G3 phones) can be seen
as very closed clubs to which an outsider without much money likely has
no possibiltiy to enter and where there is IMHO no transparency of the
deals going on inside.

2) Licensing policies:

IMHO, licensing policies like Microsoft's FAT which cap the license fee
at a fixed amount could be of drawback to smaller companies.


More information about the FSFE-IE mailing list