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LWN: The Windowing patent

Nov 03, 1999, 06:33 (22 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"Software patents strike again, and this time Linux could be directly affected."

"It seems that McDonnell Douglas has been awarded a patent on a technique called "windowing" which is used for dealing with year 2000 problems. The essence of this highly advanced and obscure algorithm, which converts two-digit years to four digits..."

"This patent will almost certainly be overturned by demonstration of prior art; see, for example, time.c from kernel 1.2.13, courtesy of the Linux Cross Reference site. The Linux kernel was using windowing in early 1995, if not before. One of the beautiful things about free software is that it makes finding (and documenting) prior art a relatively easy thing to do...."

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