OPC Patent (was JimPinto.com eNews April 26, 2002)


Thread Starter

Craig McIntyre

What is your take on the current OPC patent mess?

Should vendors and users of OPC technology involved with moving data from PLCs to spreadsheets be concerned or will this all blow over?

Best Regards

Curt Wuollet

Hi Craig

Apparently you have hit upon a taboo, This subject has been followed by a great cloud of silence. I'm not sure if that's because our kindly host has an affiliation or what the deal really is. People have been quite vocal in non-threatening settings, but it seems no one wants to have their opinion in black and white. It's truly amazing as the implications affect nearly everyone in the business far, far, more profoundly than most of the minutae discussed in great detail and with vehemance on these
electronic pages. One would expect that deals are being cut in smoke filled rooms and alliances are being built and destroyed even as we speak. I can speak quite freely as none of what I do, (to the best of my knowlege) is infringing. This is by intent and I have done my best to warn others of the dangers of software patents and monolithic
solutions, only to be dismissed as a radical or perhaps a raving lunatic. I think this is the most important subject I've seen on the list recently and is perhaps the holy grail that everyone in the industry with their proprietary zeal dreams about. That something that they (obstensibly and for the sake of argument) own or control has become ubiquitous and now they can collect, bigtime. It's a lot like the gas station example I used earlier, it's not nearly as much fun on the paying end. Yet this is just one single example in an industry full of wannabes and proprietary gotchas, each one as potentially destructive as this one, if only people can be lulled into deeming it essential and building it in everything. This is the price of apathy and ignorance of the intent behind all those licenses and patents and IP squabbles.

It's kinda like being beaten at your own game.

I would love to hear again how this is good for the industry.



Alex Pavloff

> Hi Craig
> Apparently you have hit upon a taboo...

Why is no one saying anything? Because there isn't much to say that hasn't been said? Because very few people on this list are qualified to MAKE
accurate comments on patent cases?

IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), and neither are you. Anytime I've seen a lawyer respond on one of these internet discussions, he/she mainly pointed out that everyone had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

But my quick summary:


OPC foundation: "This patent is full of brown organic matter"

Schneider: "We sold it to make money"

Solaia: "We're here to soak people for money"

ALL: "We need lawyers in here, stat!"

Feel free to launch into another slashdot style anti-patent rant if you want, but it looks like to me that the OPC Foundation is on the ball here,
and its up to the lawyers at this point.::

Alex Pavloff
Software Engineer
Eason Technology