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Chinese patent app tries to own Wine on ARM

More software patent silliness

A group of coders from China is trying to patent the ability to operate the popular Wine environment on ARM processors.

The patent application by Insigma Technology was turned up by Phoronix, http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTY0ODI here.

In the patent application, the inventors claim the following steps to execute Wine on ARM: modifying the Wine config to replace its gcc compiler and library with an arm-linux cross compiler and library file; changing Wine's construction tool so that Windows apps generate ARM code in the Portable Executable format; adapting other CPU-relevant code to the ARM processor; and installing the modified Wine source code on ARM.

Phoronix notes that Wine's Git repository has work going back to 2010, which apparently predates the June 2011 priority date claimed in the patent application.

Insigma Technology is a commercialisation spinoff of Zhejiang University, and says it has 5,000 employees and had 2010 revenue of $US859 million.

The filing has irritated Wine contributor André Hentschel, who points to his code commits from 2010, and remarks that “from my point of view there are no facts in that potential patent that should be patented”.

Whether that's sufficient to block the Chinese patent application CN102364433 is another question. ®

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