[gclist] speaking of patents...

Emery Berger emery@cs.utexas.edu
Thu, 13 Dec 2001 16:02:26 -0600

I received a letter last night and another this morning from the CEO of
MicroQuill, Inc., asking me to "cease & desist" distribution of a
pre-release version of Hoard (www.hoard.org, a scalable memory
allocator). This new version incorporates DLL patching for Windows,
rerouting memory management operations in the MSVCRT.DLL library to
Hoard. They claim that their patents cover any such patching. I quote:

Our patent is specific to REPLACEMENT of the target instructions rather
than WRAPPING of the target instructions.  Our patent is also specific
to the replacement of instructions with IMPROVED HEAP MANAGEMENT. These
characterstics make our invention distinct from the prior art.  Any
memory management DLL that implements patching of heap routines,
replacing the original routines to improve heap management, clearly
infringes our patent.

It seems to me that in addition to me, Geodesic would plainly be
violating this patent. The patent filing date is August 1996, and I
can't believe there isn't substantial prior art. I'd certainly
appreciate any pointers to such prior art, along with opinions and

-- Emery

Emery Berger
Dept. of Computer Sciences
The University of Texas at Austin

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