Re: Tux 2 patents

From: Jeff V. Merkey (
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 00:22:06 EST

On Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 05:21:19AM +0200, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> "Albert D. Cahalan" wrote:
> >
> > > The main goal is to encourage NetApp management to do the right thing.
> >
> > They are required to run the business in a profit seeking manner.
> > I think they can even go to jail... so "do the right thing" is not
> > an option for them.
> Rubbish. By this argument, the management of every corporation that
> ever made a donation is going straight to jail. Acting ethically is
> allowed in corporations, as in other walks of like. There is an
> 'ethical growth fund' in Canada that limits its investments to companies
> known for 'doing the right thing'. Guess what? It outperforms the
> market.
> > You can trade patent licenses for other patent licenses.
> > You can trade a patent license for code or secrets.
> You can trade a patent for goodwill. Goodwill is real. What is
> goodwill? When you sell a corporation 'good will' is the difference
> between the value of its hard assets and the price you got for it.

Under US Law, "trading on someone's goodwill" usually means using their
trademarks or in some way using their "market association" for your own benefit.
The actual tort usually brought is a claim of "conversion" meaning that
in some way you have "converted" their business opportunities for your
own uses. Patent infringement claims could succeed with a conversion
tort if they can show a court you converted business opportunities
that would have otherwise been theirs.

When you hear this term "trading on goodwill" this is usually the context
it refers to. Conversion claims are very difficult to defend because
in the case of conversion, the tortorious party does not have to have
acted in bad faith (bad faith means you knew you were doing something wrong
at the time, and did it anyway). You could be the CEO of a company,
and one of your employees brought in some pirated code or something,
and you could still be liable uder the law if the other side can show
conversion occurred as the result of trade secrets being taken, or
trademark or patent infringement, etc.

If you ever get nailed for acting in bad faith regarding a conversion
claim, the opposing side can get treble punitive damages (meaning the
judge could hit you for three times their damages amounts as a punitive
Hope this explains this term to you.

> > Say, would Tux2 be useful on a DVD-RAM? Gee, can you think of
> > any other patent-holders and secret-holders that might have a
> > use for Tux2? Apple has some influence over video patents
> > used in QuickTime.
> *** ponder
> Tux2, or more specifically, the phase tree algorithm is useful for any
> non-volatile read-write storage medium, since it gives no window of
> vulnerability to crashes. It is particularly good for slow, large media
> that are not friendly to journals. It is even better for flash memory
> where you don't have to worry about seek time. It is useful in any
> application where you need to support 'instant off' while leaving
> nonvolatile memory in a known, consistent state.
> --
> Daniel
> -
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