A Greek who issued some code under the GPL is fuming after he found that his work has ended up under the bonnet of Redmond software and patented in the US.
Thanassis Tsiodras has penned a moan to Slashdot saying that he wrote code in 2001, called HeapCheck, which was basically a GPL library for Windows.
It was inspired by the UNIX based ElectricFence and detected invalid read/write accesses on any heap allocations at runtime.
It was designed to help debugging sessions and was published on his site. It got a few users and he didn’t think much about it.
A while back Redmond included very similar technology in the operating system called PageHeap. But he was doing a bit of Googling on his website and found that the technology he implemented, of runtime detection of invalid heap accesses, has been patented in the States.
The only reason that he found out about it was that the patent even mentions his website in the patent references.
Since he is Greek he is wondering what he should do about it. “I am not an American citizen, but the “inventors” of this technology have apparently succeeded in passing this ludicrous patent in the States.
“If my code doesn’t count as prior art, Bruce Perens’s Efence (which I clearly state my code was inspired from) is at least 12 years prior,” he added.