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For those of you wondering about FBP's legal status, IBM decided to put its basic concepts into the public domain back in 1971. This was done by issuing what is called a Technical Disclosure Bulletin (TDB), which, as I understand it, goes to legal offices all over the world (or maybe just N. America?). The full title is: "Data Responsive Modular, Interleaved Task Programming System", IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 13, No. 8, 2425-2426, January 1971.

At the time, patents could not be issued for software, so the intent of issuing the TDB was to make it impossible for anyone else to prevent the developers/owners of FBP from using its concepts. This in turn means that anyone applying for a patent in a related field has to prove that their concept is non-obvious based on the contents of the TDB.

Of course, this places no restrictions on the ability to patent products built using implementations of FBP.

I have recently run across some applications for patents that look suspiciously like FBP - this makes me wonder how effective the TDB process is in fact - comments, anyone?

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Last edited March 28, 2008 10:46 am by PaulMorrison (diff)