I want to know if an/any algorithm is patented or not. If it is patented then where can I find its details. Please explain with an example for both cases.

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    If this is about patents, remove the copyright part from your question. An algorithm may be able to be patented, but copyright protects expressions (e.g. of an algorithm). Finding out whether something is patented is a different question than finding out if something is copyrighted. – Brandin Dec 18 '17 at 13:56
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it has nothing to do with the Free Software or Open Source movement – curiousdannii Dec 19 '17 at 3:13
  • @curiousdannii I voted it up because patents are a very serious problem for open source, and patent search is a major PITA. – Philippe Ombredanne Dec 20 '17 at 21:39
  • @pebble can you enhance your question to make this clearly about patents in FOSS? – Philippe Ombredanne Dec 20 '17 at 21:39
  • @Philippe There's another dedicated site for patents, as well as the Law site. But unless it directly relates to FOSS it doesn't belong here. – curiousdannii Dec 20 '17 at 23:35

Patent are a complicated matter and even more complex for open source. The only sane way to check if an algorithm is patented is eventually to hire a patent attorney.

Short of this, Google patents is a decent spot to search. Some hints:

  • if you know who is the algorithm author(s)S or inventor(s) search for their name
  • search for the name of other implementor names
  • search for similar algorithms

The language used in patterns is unfortunately Byzantine and obfuscated (MO on purpose) and it is difficult or even practically impossible to assert than there are no patent on an algorithm and this makes it really difficult for FOSS projects.

Software patents make me sigh, not of relief.

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  • as an example, in here i think it is patented i.e., no other person can implement a similar idea as long as its status is active. Also an example of expired patent – pebble Dec 25 '17 at 9:17

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