MSX patent has expired?

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By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

pitpan's picture

25-10-2004, 19:55

This is my question: last year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the MSX computer system. After 20 (or 21) years, all patents go public domain. So, if anyone wants can produce an MSX, am I wrong?

If it satisfies the MSX specification, can it be called an MSX computer? Patents have nothing to do with trademarks or copyrights.

If this is true, anyone could create a new MSX (1st generation, of course, until 2005).

Another question arises then: even if you can build a brand new MSX without infringing the laws, what happens with the system BIOS? They are not patented but copyrighted. So, I guess it is not that easy, is it?

Then, a new MSX with, let's say, CBios, would be perfectly legal?

Let's discuss it.

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By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

25-10-2004, 20:06

MSX1, which is followed by MSX2 (1985/86) and MSX2+ (1988) makes it still patented IMHO, since this way MSX is still younger than 20 years. Right now Dr. Nishi has the MSX patents with MSX-Association, meaning the MSX patents are still valid. Maybe somebody can confirm, deny and/or clarify this?

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

25-10-2004, 20:08

AFAIK, there is no MSX patent... There is only the MSX logo trademark and copyright issues.

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

pitpan's picture

25-10-2004, 20:29

So that anybody can build its own Z80/TMS9928/AY8912 based computer and call it, let's say, MXS, right?

By Samor

Paragon (2029)

Samor's picture

25-10-2004, 20:46

Yeah, I would think you could get away with something like a zemmix-ish thing...
It's (AFAIK) not different from an emulator with a c-bios.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

25-10-2004, 20:52

Well, there's a lot more to MSX than just the chips. I don't know if or how MSX specific features like the slot structure are protected...

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

25-10-2004, 20:53

But euhm.. is this something new? There's the CIEL3++, the eMSX2++, the One Chip MSX from Tsujikawa... all projects that originated from the community and afaik only encouraged by the MSX Association. They even seem to use Tsujikawa's project as a basis for the One Chip MSX1, just as they based the GameReader on Tsujikawa's designs. Creating MSX (compatible) hardware is not a crime, you know ^_^

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

25-10-2004, 20:59

Indeed Smile
It seems that even though it's been said several times in several places by several people, many people still have trouble understanding what they can and what they can't do, legally... :/

By Samor

Paragon (2029)

Samor's picture

25-10-2004, 21:17

I think that's kinda understandable....we're talking about software/hardware from 15 years ago (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less) ; the trend until quite recently has been to preserve old stuff, emulate it, spread its software over the net. However, kinda like with mp3, it's turned into a craze (only to a lesser degree) and many of the copyright holders (or others) started to notice this as well. Retrogaming became hot, and copyright holders and commercial companies joined the bandwagon. While on one hand this sometimes restricted the 'freedom', it has also given a lot of possibilities; that's why there are now devices like the ones from jakk's tv games for example, or products like Atari's 80 classic games in one that include all kinds of extra material like interviews/manuals not found in your regular emu. Copyright control can restrict, but it can also help spread something. It's just a matter of how there's being dealt with it.

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8232)

[D-Tail]'s picture

25-10-2004, 21:22

many people still have trouble understanding what they can and what they can't do, legally... :/
That's where Bazix comes in to clear it all up, am I right?

By Grauw

Ascended (8455)

Grauw's picture

25-10-2004, 21:47

Question is: who is going to build that MSX? The only one I currently see building new MSX-es in a nice box and all is ASCII.

Also, the MSX logo is also a means for quality control - a device labeled as MSX must comply to the standard, right? By the way, copyrights expire 70 years after the original author's death (I dunno what the deal is with companies), and trademarks... well, I'd have to look it up. Anyways, I don't see much point in that...

~Grauw

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