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Subject: Re: What do you think of this?

Re: What do you think of this?

From: Andrew Jamieson <>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 07:26:30 +1100

Normal (non bio-tech) patents last 25 years IIRC, so the one on asteroids
may well be up now.

Copyright is something different altogether, and has recently been extended
in the US to as another extention on the "Micky Mouse act" that is
essentially designed to prevent the first images of MM from falling out of
Disneys control. The expiration period on copyright is now 75 years, but
expect that to be extended for as long as Disney as enough money to buy
lawyers and congressmen.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Joaquim Carvalho" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 6:31 AM
Subject: Re: What do you think of this?

> On Thu, 2003-02-27 at 18:35, Björn Stenberg wrote:
> > Joaquim Carvalho wrote:
> > > A rewritten version won't be legal either because Atari has patented
> > > the game concept.
> >
> > Really? I searched USPTO but found nothing. Do you have any links to
more information about this?
> >
> I'm not a legal expert, "IP protection" stuff really annoys me, don't
> know if it's actually a patent but Atari has legal ways to prevent
> other companies from cloning their games.
> In this article about the video game history you can read that
> Mattel Intellivision finished an Asteroids clone and then decided
> against releasing it because they didn't want a lawsuit.
> The same has happened to a company called Starpath who also wrote an
> Asteroids lookalike.
> Magnavox was sued by Atari because of K.C. Munchkin, a PacMan clone
> and lost.
> This one is 100% stupid:
> Magnavox patented the whole concept of the home video game system
> and has successfully sued Mattel because of it:
> As we're on the subject of patents are you all aware of the threat of
> software patents starting being accepted in Europe? We're not brain-dead
> and we must never accept having to pay to use algorithms like
> run-length-encoding. If this subject is new to you here's a place
> where you can start reading something about it:
> If not, have you signed the petition?
> Joaquim

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