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Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose
3

Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose

Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose

(OP)
Hello,

I am working on the development of a software for engineering calculation and some modules/ procedures included are either derived from, or directly based on, the works of others - in some cases this is under copyright; examples of sources include:

- PhD thesis publicly available
- International standards (ISO, etc)
- Technical/conference papers

My question is it fine to make money with the software since some of its algorithms belong to others?
Otherwise what action do I need to take ? for example should I contact the authors and ask for permission and/or make sure there are no patent rights?

Thanks

RE: Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose

3
Could you make a copy of a copyrighted image without permission and sell it? Same question for a book. Why should any other material with a copyright be different?

The real question, however, is what is copyrighted? Copyright can cover the expression of an algorithm, but not the algorithm itself. In other words, if I wrote a piece of code in C that implements an algorithm, I can copyright that code... but you're free to come along and implement the same algorithm in Fortran without issue. You can't directly copy my C code verbatim, but if you were to (for example) change some variable names that make more sense to you, add in appropriate comments, etc., then that is a new expression and is valid. If you are implementing an algorithm where no source code is provided, the chances are extremely high that your implementation is unique and copyrightable.

Another important question separate from copyright... is there a patent? They cannot patent the algorithm itself as it's considered an abstract idea... but if they show how that algorithm can be implemented in a physical manner, then that can be patented. The RSA encryption and MPEG compression algorithms are perfect examples of this

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose

Contact the authors or copyright holders and ask for permission to use their works. It's done all the time. Get permission in writing.

RE: Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose

(OP)
thanks for your answer MacGyver.

I did some patent search, essentially via google patent. The procedures that I "copied" from others do not seem to be covered by patents. At least at this point, these are my findings. I need investigate deeper but I think I am left dealing with the copyright issue.

This prompted on the other hand a question in regard to the core methodology I am using; originally I hoped this to be a sort of novelty / contribution. During patent art work search, I found a patent that describes a procedure somehow closely related to mine ; how close is close the real question.
Comparative analysis indicates there are common elements but also variants. The first difference relates to the end product application. If I am to make analogy with car manufacturing, the patented method would consist of a technique in order to build a car prototype adapted to different road conditions by looking at another reference car ; they would build a model of the reference car based on selected features and then transpose the information to help characterize and predict the prototype model behavior. In my case, I would also build a model of the reference car BUT I would look at a different set of technical features (although I must say there are indirect connections) from the reference car then would transpose the information to help characterize the prototype; regarding the way we transpose things, it is pretty much a similar "family" of methods and that is the part the most described in the said patent. Sorry this might be still vague but I prefer refrain from disclosing all the details.

So where do I stand in that respect? am I in a situation of violating a patent (too closely related application) or would I even be in a position to consider claiming a patent myself?

If you have certain experience with patent, would appreciate if you could share.

RE: Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose

A patent must spell out all of the ways a certain thing is being protected... often if you change one minor detail, the patent is no longer valid for your implementation.

But again, you're patenting the method of use of said algorithm, not the algorithm itself. Let that be a guiding factor.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose

rotw,

Have you carefully read the copyrights? These all are potentially different, and they may explain your right to use the information for commercial purposes.

--
JHG

RE: Can I use procedures from open literature / other published sources for a commercial purpose

(OP)
Hi drawoh,

Somehow yes. For example on one the thesis, from which I extracted certain procedures, even the word copyright is not mentioned.

In addition, I contacted in the meantime the head of the research group (university professor) to ask for permission relative to one thesis.
But I am a bit confused about the answer I received.
I asked if I could receive permission to implement the thesis procedures in my own code/programming and explicitly stated that the use is intended for business/commercial purpose. The answer I received is that the software is not free of charge and can be expensive to buy and that I could possibly get a software copy free of charge if I would contact a certain colleague (I was given the contact address). But that was not the answer I expected to my original question; so either my question was clear and the answer was formulated this way for some purposed reason or I was unclear in my request.

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