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lynx-dev Patent on Hyperlinks

From: David Woolley
Subject: lynx-dev Patent on Hyperlinks
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 14:38:01 +0100 (BST)

According to recent press articles, British Telecom have just discovered
that they have a US patent on hyperlinks and are intending to try to
get royalties from US ISPs.

I don't know the scope of the patent, but if it covers browsers, and they
choose to demand royalties on, even just commercial, use in browsers, 
the Lynx licence to re-distribute would become void (GPL clause 7).

They apparently let non-US patents lapse, but the US patent took so long
to obtain that it is still valid.  My, lay, understanding is that a
British patent could not affect use in pure software.

(BT's own web site is a classic example of Lynx unfriendliness - even
the status 404 pages are blank without Javascript!  Parts of BT Research
do understand accessiblity, but that has little to do with what the 
operational side does.)

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