martin at oneiros.de
Sat Jun 16 02:10:24 CEST 2007
2007/6/16, Pierre MacKay <pierre.mackay at comcast.net>:
> A recent Wall Street Journal article suggested that TrueType font format
> and management patents were among the patent shillaleaghs that Microsoft
> intends to use to club open source software users (especially Linux
> users) into the ground. The terms, as applied to
This is new. This is known:
"There are potential patent infringements in FreeType because parts of
the TrueType hinting virtual machine were patented by Apple, a fact
not mentioned in the TrueType standards. (Patent holders who
contribute to standards not published by a major standards body such
as ISO are not required to disclose the scope of their patents.)
FreeType 2 includes an automatic hinter that analyzes glyph shapes and
attempts to generate hints automatically, thus avoiding the patented
technology. The automatic hinter generally improves the appearance
of free or cheap fonts, for which hinting is often either nonexistent
or automatically generated anyway, but it can degrade the appearance
of professional hand-hinted fonts, and does not work well (or at all)
for non-Western text that requires a different approach to hinting. As
a result, many people prefer to enable the patented hinting
Note that TT was developed by Apple, not Microsoft.
Also note that TT has been superseeded by OpenType, which is an ISO
standard (and as such hopefully patent free).
> protection. Even if you act in ignorance, which is entirely likely,
> since Microsoft won't specify what patents it claims are being violated,
> only that there are a lot of them, you will be crushed.
This is wrong. German patent law specifically covers this case: If you
claim that your product is protected by patents, you must disclose the
nature of these patents. :-) So Microsoft will never really say this,
but spread FUD.
More information about the texhax