There is a patent for settings search. I wonder if there is any way I could be allowed to implement that legally. I've heard that abstract ideas cannot be patented, but I'm still not sure if I could legally provide a settings search in my own game engine or software to an end user by using such an excuse. Could anyone please explain?
It is comparatively easy to get something patented. You will only have problems if:
- You implement it essentially as patented
- The patent holder becomes aware of your implementation
- The patent holder makes a determination that filing a lawsuit makes sense
- The patent holder sues and wants something more than you to stop or reasonable licensing fees, in which case you call the bluff
- You go to court and you / your lawyer lose, because a.) you really did implement the key elements of the patent and b.) you can't convince the fact finder that the patent is invalid
Don't take this as legal advice and go talk to a lawyer, but come on, somebody posted something here about some guy at IBM patenting XML. If you go through life avoiding doing anything that could get you sued you might as well just go crawl in a hole and die. Then your estate can get sued in your stead.