Date stamping software

Steven Bellovin smb at
Thu Jul 18 09:07:00 EST 1991

In article <1991Jul18.015251.11417 at lynx.CS.ORST.EDU>, kramer at beasley.CS.ORST.EDU (Jack Kramer - Biophysics) writes:
> Is this really a request for information on obtaining "patents" from 
> a United States government (NIH) organization?  
> Is the federal government using tax dollars to directly compete with private
> individuals and businesses.

Patent law explicitly permits the Federal government to obtain patents.
Generally, though, these patents are licensed royalty-free to all comers.
(No, I don't know why they bother to patent things in that case...)

Please note that I'm not defending the status quo (that's a topic for
another newsgroup); I'm simply stating what it is.

Incidentally, this is distinct from copyright law -- the Federal government
is explicitly barred from copyrighting anything.

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