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'who owns what rights??'
1996\12\13@210032 by Stuart Allman

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I recently finished my six month delve into Dolby Pro-Logic and wrote my
own algorithm on an AD ez-kit lite.  I was wondering if it would be OK to
publish my work on the web?  Would I be violating any patent laws or
special rights that Dolby has to their product?  I thought this subject
went beyond just DSP programming, so it might be an interesting discussion
for the list to tackle.

The work I did, I feel, is "clean room".  The only things I had to work
with is the Dolby spec that they released to the general public on their
web page.  In this case, what type of disclaimers should I include with my
work if I choose to publish it?

Thanks,

Stuart Allman
spam_OUTstudioTakeThisOuTspamhalcyon.com

1996\12\14@111706 by n Medical Technologies

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Stuart Allman wrote:
>
> I recently finished my six month delve into Dolby Pro-Logic and wrote my
> own algorithm on an AD ez-kit lite.  I was wondering if it would be OK to
> publish my work on the web?  Would I be violating any patent laws or
> special rights that Dolby has to their product?  I thought this subject
> went beyond just DSP programming, so it might be an interesting discussion
> for the list to tackle.
>
> The work I did, I feel, is "clean room".  The only things I had to work
> with is the Dolby spec that they released to the general public on their
> web page.  In this case, what type of disclaimers should I include with my
> work if I choose to publish it?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Stuart Allman
> .....studioKILLspamspam@spam@halcyon.com

I'm not a lawyer, but...

It seems to me that unless there is something in the language that they
use where they give the spec, such as, "by using this spec you agree not
to write code that implements it...", then you can do anything that you
want.

Be careful, though, not to infringe on the Dolby trademark.  For example
that better to advertise as "software that, as far as I can tell,
achieves the specifications of the Dolby Pro-Logic system as outlined on
their web page", rather than "genuine Dolby Pro-Logic stereo code, right
here folks".

Best of luck,

Al Cohen
Boston Medical Technologies

1996\12\14@140013 by William Chops Westfield

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   > The work I did, I feel, is "clean room".

   Unless they said "by using this spec you agree not, to write code that
   implements it..."

I think your code would unquestionably be infringing the Dolby Patents.
Unlike copyright and "trade secret" protection, "clean room" techniques and
using only public information do not buy you anything (after all the patents
themselves are public.)  Whether They'd be upset at you is a separate
question - I think they'd be more inclined to go after people who try to
use your code in commercial products (you'd probably be after those too!)

You could always try asking...

BillW
(Not a lawyer either)

1996\12\14@141054 by Stuart Allman

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On Sat, 14 Dec 1996, William Chops Westfield wrote:

>     > The work I did, I feel, is "clean room".
>
>     Unless they said "by using this spec you agree not, to write code that
>     implements it..."
>
> I think your code would unquestionably be infringing the Dolby Patents.
> Unlike copyright and "trade secret" protection, "clean room" techniques and
> using only public information do not buy you anything (after all the patents
> themselves are public.)  Whether They'd be upset at you is a separate
> question - I think they'd be more inclined to go after people who try to
> use your code in commercial products (you'd probably be after those too!)
>
> You could always try asking...
>
> BillW
> (Not a lawyer either)
>

Thanks for all the advise.  I am not planning to make any money off this
project.  I just did it for fun in my spare time.  I think I'll just write
to Dolby and ask how they would feel about it.  I cannot call my project
Dolby Pro-Logic for the reason that the Dolby Pro-Logic name is owned by
dolby and the software I wrote does not meet the entire spec.  I don't
have the time or money for lawyers, so I might have to blow off the whole
deal if Dolby even whinces.

Stuart Allman
studiospamKILLspamhalcyon.com

1996\12\14@160829 by John E. Nelson
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>Thanks for all the advise.  I am not planning to make any money off this
>project.  I just did it for fun in my spare time.  I think I'll just write
>to Dolby and ask how they would feel about it.  I cannot call my project
>Dolby Pro-Logic for the reason that the Dolby Pro-Logic name is owned by
>dolby and the software I wrote does not meet the entire spec.  I don't
>have the time or money for lawyers, so I might have to blow off the whole
>deal if Dolby even whinces.
>

It seems that what you did was for educational purposes. A patent cannot be
used to prevent "exploration" of an area of knowledge. If you attempt to
commercialize your exploration then you have a problem. Publishing a
schematic or code of a product is OK as well as long as you don't copy it
exactly or in toto and clearly reference the source of your information. If
you wish to excerpt portions of the patent itself for discussion in
educational forums that is ok as well. Don't publish a schematic or code as
is though as then you would be violating a copyright.

PS: I am not a lawyer, my opinions are not to be construed as legal advice.

1996\12\15@101103 by Mark A. Corio

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In a message dated 96-12-14 16:10:27 EST, you write:

>It seems that what you did was for educational purposes. A patent cannot be
>used to prevent "exploration" of an area of knowledge. If you attempt to
>commercialize your exploration then you have a problem.

I think that there is some legal rules about USING patented technology even
if you don't sell it.  I believe that this is similar to a process patent
where a company patents something used only internally and not sold but
doesn't want their competition to have the cost savings, etc. of the
technique.  Can anyone comment on this as it may also have legal implications
(but likely not enforced) to the hobby community??

Mark A. Corio
Rochester MicroSystems, Inc.
200 Buell Road, Suite 9
Rochester, NY  14624
Tel:  (716) 328-5850 --- Fax:  (716) 328-1144
http://www.frontiernet.net/~rmi/

***** Designing Electronics For Research & Industry *****

1996\12\15@115430 by John E. Nelson

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>process patent where a company patents something used only internally and
not
>sold but doesn't want their competition to have the cost savings, etc. of
the
>technique.

A process patent is a patent placed upon a technique or process that is
used to produce a product. You can investigate and study the process
without infringing upon another's patent. A patent cannot prevent further
discoveries and patents.  You cannot put the process that is patented into
production though, even if it is to produce something other than what
thepatent holder is producing.

1996\12\15@154504 by Brooke

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Hi:

Some comments about patents:

(1) I worked for a company that had microwave ferrites in it's product
line.
   The basic ferrite idea was patented by someone else.  We kept track
of
   who the end user was, and if the end user was the U.S. government,
we
   did not have to pay any fees.  I knew an engineer at another company
   that did a lot of government contract work who had a binder full of
   patents that he would use for jobs that were to be sold to the
government.

(2) Heathkit and EICO sold oscilloscope kits that were based on a
patented
   technology.  IMHO they could do this because the end user was an
individual.
   Anyone can use a patented technology for their own personal use.  As
   Don Lancaster says, for a patent holder to go to court and enforce
his
   patent is very costly.  I read somewhere that many companies located
   along the Mississippi river mainly because that patent court
district
   NEVER found for the patent holder.

(3)The Sunnyvale patent library files their patents by CLASS number
rather
  than the patent number (which is random in relation to anything).
This
  allows doing research easily, since all patents on a given topic are
  physically next to each other.  This is a great way to learn about a
  subject because very basic ideas are contained in the "claims"
section
  that do not show up in text books.  Some of the questions on the
piclist
  are canidates for patent searches if the end user is the questioner
or
  the U.S. government.

Have Fun,

Brooke

1996\12\16@140241 by Matthew Mucker

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>Thanks for all the advise.  I am not planning to make any money off this
>project.  I just did it for fun in my spare time.  I think I'll just write
>to Dolby and ask how they would feel about it.  I cannot call my project
>Dolby Pro-Logic for the reason that the Dolby Pro-Logic name is owned by
>dolby and the software I wrote does not meet the entire spec.  I don't
>have the time or money for lawyers, so I might have to blow off the whole
>deal if Dolby even whinces.


There are all kinds of black boxes out there that do (in essence) surround
sound decoding similar to Pro-Logic.  Even the hobbyist electronics
magazines publish such projects.  None of these, I'm sure, are licensed.
Of course, none claim to be Pro-Logic compatible, either.

Legally, I'm no guru (along with the others here), but realistically, I'm
sure Dolby has better things to do than waste money going after you.
(IMHO)  I'd just make sure to avoid using the words Pro-Logic in
association with your product that go any further than "achieves sonic
performance similar to Dolby Pro-Logic..." and be sure to credit the
trademark.

$0.02, please

-Matt


 "DOS Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq, Tandy, and
millions of others are by far the most popular, with about 70 million
machines in use wordwide. Macintosh fans, on the other hand, may note that
cockroaches are far more numerous than humans, and that numbers alone do
not denote a higher life form."

1996\12\17@102459 by Stuart Allman

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On Mon, 16 Dec 1996, Matthew Mucker wrote:

{Quote hidden}

The check is in the (e) mail.


> -Matt
>
>
>   "DOS Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq, Tandy, and
> millions of others are by far the most popular, with about 70 million
> machines in use wordwide. Macintosh fans, on the other hand, may note that
> cockroaches are far more numerous than humans, and that numbers alone do
> not denote a higher life form."
>

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