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    SubjectRe: [RFC] Should we create a raw input interface for IR's ? - Was: Re: [PATCH 1/3 v2] lirc core device driver infrastructure
    On Nov 26, 2009, at 2:43 PM, Andy Walls wrote:

    > On Thu, 2009-11-26 at 12:05 -0200, Mauro Carvalho Chehab wrote:
    >> Krzysztof Halasa wrote:
    >>> Andy Walls <> writes:
    >>>> I would also note that RC-6 Mode 6A, used by most MCE remotes, was
    >>>> developed by Philips, but Microsoft has some sort of licensing interest
    >>>> in it and it is almost surely encumbered somwhow:
    >>> I don't know about legal problems in some countries but from the
    >>> technical POV handling the protocol in the kernel is more efficient
    >>> or (/and) simpler.
    >> A software licensing from Microsoft won't apply to Linux kernel, so I'm
    >> assuming that you're referring to some patent that they could be filled
    >> about RC6 mode 6A.
    >> I don't know if is there any US patent pending about it (AFAIK, only US
    >> accepts software patents), but there are some prior-art for IR key
    >> decoding. So, I don't see what "innovation" RC6 would be adding.
    >> If it is some new way to transmit waves, the patent issues
    >> aren't related to software, and the device manufacturer had already handled
    >> it when they made their devices.
    >> If it is just a new keytable, this issue
    >> could be easily solved by loading the keytable via userspace.
    >> Also, assuming that you can use the driver only with a hardware that comes
    >> with a licensed software, the user has already the license for using it.
    >> Do you have any details on what patents they are claiming?
    > The US Philips RC-6 patent is US Patent 5,877,702
    > Click on download PDF to get a copy of the whole patent.
    > I am not a lawyer. Philips claims' all appear to tie to a transmitter
    > or receiver as part of a system, but most of the claims are about
    > information and bit positions and lengths.
    > IMO, given
    > a. the dearth of public information about RC-6, indicating someone
    > thinks it's their trade secret or intellectual property
    > b. Microsoft claiming to license something related to the MCE remote
    > protocols (which are obviously RC-6 Mode 6A),
    > c. my inability to draw a "clear, bright line" that RC-6 Mode 6A
    > encoding and decoding, as needed by MCE remotes, implemented in software
    > doesn't violate anyone's government granted rights to exclusivity.
    > I think it's much better to implement software RC-6 Mode 6A encoding and
    > decoding in user space, doing only the minimum needed to get the
    > hardware setup and going in the kernel.
    > Encoding/decoding of RC-6 by microcontrollers with firmware doesn't
    > worry me.
    > Maybe I'm being too conservative here, but I have a personal interest in
    > keeping Linux free and unencumbered even in the US which, I cannot deny,
    > has a patent system that is screwed up.

    So I had one of the people who does all the license and patent audits for Fedora packages look at the Philips patent on RC-6. He's 100% positive that the patent *only* covers hardware, there should be no problem whatsoever writing a software decoder for RC-6.

    Jarod Wilson

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