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Independent invention defence
One proposal to reduce the harm of software patents is an independent invention defence.
Note: this is only proposed in hypothetical discussions. There are no known proposals or laws that actually implement this idea.
(NEEDS CHECKING) The general idea would be that if a developer does not copy the work of a patent holder (or licensee?) then any infringement would be coincidental, or "independent", and would be permitted.
 Regarding standards
This would solve some problems of access to standards, but not all.
Example #1: If a company patents an idea and builds a standard around it, you would have to look at their work if you want to be compatible, so your software would not be "independent". This defence wouldn't help you.
Example #2: If a Company-A builds a standard, and you look at that Company-A's work and write something compatible, and you then get threatened by Company-B, you (and Company-A) could use the independent invention defence.
 Related pages on en.swpat.org
- We need an independent invention defense to minimize the damage of aggressive patent trolls, by venture capitalist Brad Burnham
- Discussing this article: Well Respected VC Firm Comes Out In Favor Of Independent Invention Defense Against Patent Infringement Lawsuits, techdirt.com
- Why We Need An Independent Invention Defense, by venture capitalist Fred Wilson
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