Subject: Re: quickly find what applications are affected by RSA
To: Don Lewis <>
From: Thor Lancelot Simon <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/08/2000 14:36:23
On Fri, Sep 08, 2000 at 11:29:09AM -0700, Don Lewis wrote:
> On Sep 8,  2:50am, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> } For a simple example, let's say I get a patent on a tubeless automobile
> } tire using a valve with a flanged stem.  If you build a tire which will
> } only accept a valve with a flanged stem, or which will leak if any other
> } kind of valve is used, but do not sell it with the valve, you still 
> } probably infringe my patent under the doctrine of contributory infringement.
> } In ruling on this kind of issue, a court is particularly likely to find
> } that you infringe if, for example, you sell your tire with an 
> } advertisement loudly proclaiming that it is "designed to accept flanged-
> } stem valves available from many suppliers!".
> } 
> } In particular, if you're obviously inducing the people who use your
> } product to infringe a patent by modifying it, and especially if you
> } *give them instructions* for modifying it in such a manner that it
> } infringes, the courts are likely to take a very dim view of your
> } actions.
> What if you (the patent holder) gave away flanged-stem valves free to
> owners of personal autos and only required taxi cabs to purchase your
> "professional grade" valves?  What if a large percentage of these tires

So what?  It doesn't matter if the ultimate user of the product is commercial
or not -- you're still making money by helping him infringe a patent, so
AFAICT you're not only still liable for contributory infringement, you're
probably liable for punitive damages.

One more time: I am not a lawyer.  I don't think it's productive for me to
spend any more time playing "What if?" -- I got advice on the particular
aspect of this that mattered to us, and we followed it, and if I need advice
on some other variation I'll -- surprise, surprise -- ask a good lawyer to
give me some. :-)  I suggest the same course of action to you if you're
really curious.