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173080Re: Licensing of Conlangs/Conworlds

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  • David McCann
    Jun 1, 2010
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      On Mon, 2010-05-31 at 23:51 -0700, David Peterson wrote:
      > There have been two people (both outside the US, oddly enough)
      > who have contacted the LCS to let us know that they've applied
      > for a US patent for their language.

      Not too surprising: the US Patent Office is probably the only one which
      would countenance such an application! In almost all other countries you
      cannot patent an idea, only a physical invention. You have copyright in
      the expression of the idea in words, but not for the idea itself. A few
      years ago someone re-wrote a set of wargame rules to make them more
      readable; this was not a copyright infringement, as only the original
      wording was protected. If the mechanisms of a game are not copyright, it
      is unlikely that those of a language would be.

      There was an interesting example recently of the US Patent Office's
      willingness to patent anything, no questions asked. A patent for an
      aspect of GUIs was struck down by a court when it was proved that the
      idea predated the patent by simply carrying a Commodore Amiga into court
      and switching it on!
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