Dating - Wikipedia

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It is for this reason that in many cases, projects will encourage use of their name even when commercial, proprietary software-producers would forbid it. It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage, [10] but as marriage became less permanent with the advent of divorce , dating could happen at other times in peoples lives as well. In the United Kingdom, a poll of 3, engaged or married couples resulted in an average duration between first meeting and accepted proposal of marriage of 2 years and 11 months,

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After you have all of the above information, you should be able to complete the application without any problem. Freunde, Bar, Arbeit — und Internet". It is, although it is not ideal. Each year, November 11 has become an unofficial holiday [90] known as China's Singles' Day when singles are encouraged to make an extra effort to find a partner. The abstract is supposed to provide a brief summary of the invention disclosed in the patent.

Accordingly, an issue regarding dating is the subject of career timing which generates controversy. Some views reflect a traditional notion of gender roles. For example, Danielle Crittenden in What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us argued that having both a career and family at the same time was taxing and stressful for a woman; as a result, she suggested that women should date in their early twenties with a seriousness of purpose, marry when their relative beauty permitted them to find a reliable partner, have children, then return to work in their early thirties with kids in school; Crittenden acknowledged that splitting a career path with a ten-year baby-raising hiatus posed difficulties.

Columnist Maureen Dowd quoted comedian Bill Maher on the subject of differing dating agendas between men and women: In studies comparing children with heterosexual families and children with homosexual families, there have been no major differences noted; though some claims suggest that kids with homosexual parents end up more well adjusted than their peers with heterosexual parents, purportedly due to the lack of marginalizing gender roles in same-sex families.

It is increasingly common today, however, with new generations and in a growing number of countries, to frame the work-life balance issue as a social problem rather than a gender problem. With the advent of a changing workplace, the increased participation of women in the labor force , an increasing number of men who are picking up their share of parenting and housework, [52] and more governments and industries committing themselves to achieving gender equality, the question of whether or not, or when to start a family is slowly being recognized as an issue that touches or should touch both genders.

The prospect of love often entails anxiety, sometimes with a fear of commitment [53] and a fear of intimacy for persons of both sexes. There's something wonderful, I think, about taking chances on love and sex. Going out on a limb can be roller-coaster scary because none of us want to be rejected or to have our heart broken. But so what if that happens? I, for one, would rather fall flat on my face as I serenade my partner off-key and all in a bikini and a short little pool skirt than sit on the edge of the pool, dipping my toes in silence.

One dating adviser agreed that love is risky, and wrote that "There is truly only one real danger that we must concern ourselves with and that is closing our hearts to the possibility that love exists.

What happens in the dating world can reflect larger currents within popular culture. For example, when the book The Rules appeared, it touched off media controversy about how men and women should relate to each other, with different positions taken by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd [58] and British writer Kira Cochrane of The Guardian.

Since people dating often do not know each other well, there is the risk of violence , including date rape. Sara McCorquodale suggests that women meeting strangers on dates meet initially in busy public places, share details of upcoming dates with friends or family so they know where they'll be and who they'll be with, avoid revealing one's surname or address, and conducting searches on them on the Internet prior to the date.

Don't leave drinks unattended; have an exit plan if things go badly; and ask a friend to call you on your cell phone an hour into the date to ask how it's going. If you explain beautifully, a woman does not look to see whether you are handsome or not -- but listens more, so you can win her heart.

That is why I advise our boys to read stories and watch movies more and to learn more beautiful phrases to tell girls. The Internet is shaping the way new generations date. Facebook , Skype , Whatsapp , and other applications have made remote connections possible.

Online dating tools are an alternate way to meet potential dates. Dating customs and habits vary considerably throughout the world. The average duration of courtship before proceeding to engagement or marriage varies considerably throughout the world. According to one source, there are four ways that marriage can happen among the Nyangatom people: Asia is a mix of traditional approaches with involvement by parents and extended families such as arranged marriages as well as modern dating.

Patterns of dating are changing in China, with increased modernization bumping into traditional ways. One report in China Daily suggests that dating for Chinese university women is "difficult" and "takes work" and steals time away from academic advancement, and places women in a precarious position of having to balance personal success against traditional Chinese relationships. But in China, we study together. Like other women in my social circle, I have certain demands for a potential mate.

He doesn't have to make much more than I do, but he must be doing at least as well as I am, and has to be compatible with me, both morally and spiritually He should also own an apartment instead of us buying one together. Remember what Virginia Wolf [ sic ] said? Every woman should have a room of her own. The game show If You Are the One , titled after Chinese personal ads, featured provocative contestants making sexual allusions and the show reportedly ran afoul of authorities and had to change its approach.

There are conflicting reports about dating in China's capital city. One account suggests that the dating scene in Beijing is "sad" with particular difficulties for expatriate Chinese women hoping to find romance. Each year, November 11 has become an unofficial holiday [90] known as China's Singles' Day when singles are encouraged to make an extra effort to find a partner. In Arabic numerals, the day looks like "", that is, "like four single people standing together", and there was speculation that it originated in the late s when college students celebrated being single with "a little self-mockery" [90] but a differing explanation dates it back to events in the Roman Empire.

There is concern that young people's views of marriage have changed because of economic opportunities, with many choosing deliberately not to get married, [90] as well as young marrieds who have decided not to have children, or to postpone having them.

Jinguoyuan organized periodic matchmaking events often attended by parents. Chinese-style flirtatiousness is termed sajiao , best described as "to unleash coquettishness" with feminine voice, tender gestures, and girlish protestations. Romantic love is more difficult during times of financial stress, and economic forces can encourage singles, particularly women, to select a partner primarily on financial considerations. Some men postpone marriage until their financial position is more secure and use wealth to help attract women.

One trend is towards exclusive matchmaking events for the 'rich and powerful'; for example, an annual June event in Wuhan with expensive entry-ticket prices for men 99, RMB lets financially secure men choose so-called bikini brides based on their beauty and education , [94] and the financial exclusivity of the event was criticized by the official news outlet China Daily.

A brave lover in Beijing must be prepared to accept a paradigm shift to enjoy the cross-cultural dating experience. There was a report that sexual relations among middle schoolers in Guangzhou sometimes resulted in abortions. Indian dating is heavily influenced by the custom of arranged marriages which require little dating, although there are strong indications that the institution is undergoing change, and that love marriages are becoming more accepted as India becomes more intertwined with the rest of the world.

In the cities at least, it is becoming more accepted for two people to meet and try to find if there is compatibility. The majority of Indian marriages are arranged by parents and relatives, and one estimate is that 7 of every 10 marriages are arranged. Writer Lavina Melwani described a happy marriage which had been arranged by the bride's father, and noted that during the engagement, the woman was allowed to go out with him before they were married on only one occasion; the couple married and found happiness.

Until recently, Indian marriages had all the trappings of a business transaction involving two deal-making families, a hardboiled matchmaker and a vocal board of shareholders — concerned uncles and aunts. The couple was almost incidental to the deal. They just dressed and showed up for the wedding ceremony.

And after that the onus was on them to adjust to the 1, relatives, get to know each other and make the marriage work. Relationships in which dating is undertaken by two people, who choose their dates without parental involvement and sometimes carry on clandestine get-togethers, has become increasingly common. When this leads to a wedding, the resulting unions are sometimes called love marriages.

There are increasing incidences when couples initiate contact on their own, particularly if they live in a foreign country; in one case, a couple met surreptitiously over a game of cards. Dating websites are gaining ground in India. Writer Rupa Dev preferred websites which emphasized authenticity and screened people before entering their names into their databases, making it a safer environment overall, so that site users can have greater trust that it is safe to date others on the site.

During the interval before marriage, whether it is an arranged or a love marriage, private detectives have been hired to check up on a prospective bride or groom, or to verify claims about a potential spouse made in newspaper advertising, and there are reports that such snooping is increasing.

Transsexuals and eunuchs have begun using Internet dating in some states in India. The practice of dating runs against some religious traditions, and the radical Hindu group Sri Ram Sena threatened to "force unwed couples" to marry, if they were discovered dating on Valentine's Day ; a fundamentalist leader said "drinking and dancing in bars and celebrating this day has nothing to do with Hindu traditions. Another group, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha , threatened to do the same, for which it was severely mocked online [] and on the day after Valentine's Day , had protesters outside its Delhi headquarters, with people mockingly complaining that it did not fulfill its "promise", [] with some having come with materials for the wedding rituals.

There is a type of courtship called Omiai in which parents hire a matchmaker to give resumes and pictures to potential mates for their approval, leading to a formal meeting with parents and matchmaker attending. The reasons for dating in Korea are various. Research conducted by Saegye Daily showed that teenagers choose to date for reasons such as "to become more mature," "to gain consultation on worries, or troubles," or "to learn the difference between boys and girls," etc.

Present Korean dating shows a changing attitude due to the influence of tradition and modernization. There are a lot of Confucian ideas and practices that still saturate South Korean culture and daily life as traditional values. It is one of the old teachings of Confucianism [] and reveals its inclination toward conservatism.

Most Koreans tend to regard dating as a precursor to marriage. There is no dating agency but the market for marriage agencies are growing continuously. Also, "Mat-sun", the blind date which is usually based on the premise of marriage, is held often among ages of late 20s to 30s. However, the majority still takes getting into a relationship seriously. Dating in Korea is also considered a necessary activity supported by society.

College students in their sophomore to junior year who have not been in a relationship feel anxious that they are falling behind amongst their peers. Most of them try "sogaeting", going out on a blind date, for the first time to get into a relationship. Dating is a duty that most people feel they must take on to not seem incompetent.

Where Are We Going? Dating has also been depicted to be an activity of fun and happiness. According to a survey by wedding consulting agency, men consider a physical relation as a catalyst of love, otherwise, women regard it as a confirmation of affection. Adding to it, both Marriages and courtship in Pakistan are influenced by traditional cultural practices similar to those elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent as well as Muslim norms and manners.

Illegitimate relationships before marriage are considered a social taboo and social interaction between unmarried men and women is encouraged at a modest and healthy level. Couples are usually wedded through either an arranged marriage or love marriage.

Love marriages are those in which the individuals have chosen a partner whom they like by their own choice prior to marriage, and usually occur with the consent of parents and family. Arranged marriages on the other hand are marriages which are set and agreed by the families or guardians of the two individuals where the couple may not have met before.

In either cases and in consistency with traditional marital practices, individuals who marry are persuaded to meet and talk to each other for some time before considering marrying so that they can check their compatibility.

The original SDU, which controversially promoted marriages among university graduate singles, no longer exists today. On 28 January , it was merged with SDS [Social Development Services], which just as controversially promoted marriages among non-graduate singles.

The merged unit, SDN Social Development Network seeks to promote meaningful relationships, with marriage touted as a top life goal, among all resident [Singapore] singles within a conducive network environment of singles, relevant commercial and public entities.

One report suggested that in southern Taiwan , "traditional rules of courtship" still apply despite the influence of popular culture ; for example, men continue to take the initiative in forming relationships.

What caused relationships to break up? In Britain, the term dating bears similarity to the American sense of the tentative exploratory part of a relationship. If two people are going out together , it may mean they're dating but that their relationship has advanced to a relatively long-standing and sexual boyfriend-girlfriend relationship although they're not cohabiting.

Although Britons are familiar with the term dating, the rituals surrounding courtship are somewhat different from those commonly found in North America. Writer Kira Cochrane advises daters to "get out there and meet people" while noting a trend of temporary suspension of marriage until an individual reaches his or her thirties.

She felt "clueless and unwanted", she wrote, and found advice books such as The Rules helpful. Online dating safety in the UK is a concern for authorities and individuals. While analysts such as Harald Martenstein and others suggest that it is easier for persons to initiate contact in America, many Germans view the American dating habits as "unspontaneous", "ridiculous" and "rigid".

Membership in voluntary associations is relatively high in German-speaking countries and these provided further chances for possible partners to meet. Strolling on Esplanades and Promenade walkways such as the one in Hamburg called the Jungfernstieg maidens way , have been another venue for introductions as early as the 19th century.

Analyst Geoffrey Gorer described dating as an American idiosyncrasy focusing on youth of college age and expressed in activities such as American proms.

In contrast German speaking countries and the longstanding musical tradition there provided ample opportunity of persons of varying ages enjoying social dances, such as the Vienna Opera Ball and other occasions. The German term of Stelldichein as translated by Joachim Heinrich Campes is used to signify dating when the age of consent to marriage was relatively high.

German traditions to signify lovers who met in hiding were described with terms like Fensterln windowing or Kiltgang dawn stroll used in Bavaria and Switzerland. Today, most German couples in long-term relationships get to know each other through mutual friends, at work or while going out at night; the first few months of dating often involve sexual intercourse, but are still rather casual and do not imply a serious wish to get married.

Italians maintain a conservative approach to dating. Also, inviting friends or relatives during a date is not uncommon. More modern approaches such as blind dates, speed dating and dating websites are not as popular as abroad, and are not considered very effective by the majority of the population.

However, social network members outnumber the European average, [] and they may use Facebook for dating purposes too. One report suggested Spanish women were the "greatest flirts", based on an unofficial study by a dating website which ranked countries based on initiations of contact. In North Africa like in many parts of the Middle East, sex without marriage is considered unacceptable. Dating in North Africa is predominantly done under family supervision, usually in a public place.

People of different sexes are not allowed to "mix freely" in public. Clerics run officially sanctioned internet dating agencies with strict rules. In Israel, in the secular community, dating is very common amongst both heterosexual and homosexual couples. However, because of the religious community, there are some religious exceptions to the dating process. In the Haredi and Chasidic communities Ultra-Orthodox Judaism most couples are paired through a matchmaker.

In this arranged marriage system, young adults meet a couple times under the supervision of their parents, and after they meet, the two are asked whether they will agree to be married. Furthermore, in terms of marriage , because the state religion is essentially Orthodox-Judaism, Conservative and Reform Liberal denominations of Judaism Jews cannot get married through a Conservative or Reform Rabbi without the approval of the State's Orthodox Head Rabbi.

There are similar problems in Israel for people of different denominations of other religions as well. Essentially, if you live in Israel, and the head of your religion doesn't want you to get married, you can't get religiously married.

Because people of two different religions or people of the same sex cannot get married in Israel, people in these situations oftentimes have to go overseas to get married since Israel does recognize overseas marriages. One report suggests the Lebanese dating game is hampered by "the weight of family demands upon individual choice" and that there were difficulties, particularly for people seeking to marry across religious lines, such as a Christian seeking to marry a Muslim.

The Saudi Gazette quoted a Wikipedia article on domestic violence , suggesting it was an issue for Saudis, including abusive behavior while dating by one or both partners.

In many cultures around the world, dating is a serious family matter, which is based on its culture and social values. Parents in said cultures believe in arranged marriage, or at least make sure that their children get married at a certain age. However, in the United States, independency plays an important role in how singles value and date others. In America, dating is mostly a personal decision rather than based off the influence of parents.

Middle class tend to prioritize other things that are more important to them, such as get a college degree, a job, and then date their future spouse to settle down. Before the internet era, some Americans would meet their prospective husband or wife in college, through friends, at work, etc.

But now is very popular that singles are trying to meet people on websites and from cell phone applications. Dating people online can create other social issues. For example, some individuals might get in the illusion that there are so many singles looking for your mate, therefore some can get into a bad habit of constantly meet new people, but do not want to get in a meaningful relationship and they may spend years dating looking for a perfect mate when in reality that does not exist.

Meeting people from social sites might isolate us even more due to lack of communication face to face with friends and interact with new people on public places.

One report suggested the United States as well as other western-oriented countries were different from the rest of the world because "love is the reason for mating," as opposed to marriages being arranged to cement economic and class ties between families and promote political stability.

British writer Kira Cochrane, after moving to the U. By waiting and waiting and waiting to commit to someone, our capacity for love shrinks and withers. This doesn't mean that women or men should marry the first reasonable person to come along, or someone with whom they are not in love.

But we should, at a much earlier age than we do now, take a serious attitude toward dating and begin preparing ourselves to settle down.

For it's in the act of taking up the roles we've been taught to avoid or postpone——wife, husband, mother, father——that we build our identities, expand our lives, and achieve the fullness of character we desire. Journalist Emily Witt in wrote that while "social mores had changed to accept a wider range of sexual practices", there was still much "loneliness and anxiety".

There is evidence that couples differ in the pace and timing with which they initiate sex in their relationships. This could help avoid confusion over the life of the organization and help the directors to be aware of and remain focused on their duties to the organization. It is important that nonprofit organizations keep good books and records of their financial activities.

Ideally, financial transactions will be recorded using accounting software, such as GNU Cash. Nonprofits can also employ an external professional bookkeeper to assist with the books. Professional bookkeepers are useful in helping new organizations start running their operations in an organized manner, and can help make it easier to avoid problematic uses of funds such as the commingling of moneys.

In addition to an exemption from some taxation by the federal and state governments, tax exempt organizations can receive donations for which the donors can take deductions on their own taxes. The IRS has regularly recognized organizations created for the promotion of free and open source software projects as having charitable purposes.

The form also requires that the organization provide three years of financial history or, if the organization has recently been created, a budget of what the organization expects to receive in donations and income and what and how it expects to spend its money.

The IRS publishes detailed instructions that provide guidance as to how to properly complete the form. Organizations that receive recognition of tax exemption are obligated to make their applications available on request, which can be a useful resource if another nonprofit that has similar operations has already obtained its recognition. Nonprofits now have with extensions 27 months from formation to achieve tax exemption recognition that applies retroactively to formation. The tax exemption recognition process will take several months, even if the IRS has no objection to the filing.

If the IRS has any concerns about the application, the reviewer will contact the organization and provide a list of questions that he or she will give the organization the opportunity to address. Once a nonprofit achieves c 3 tax exempt status from the IRS, there are certain restrictions preventing the organization from spending money or conducting certain activities. A c 3 nonprofit may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

The law offers no clear test for what amounts to a substantial amount of legislative activities. The IRS offers an alternative test called the Expenditure Test which examines certain permissible and impermissible expenditures in an attempt to provide clearer rules for organizations that engage in some lobbying.

If your organization is engaging in more than a trivial amount of lobbying activities or resource allocation you should seek legal advice from an attorney. The IRS classifies charitable organizations by the ways in which their funding is received. Organizations that are broadly funded by the public are considered to be publicly supported and organizations that received most of their income from a few sources are considered to be private foundations.

Private foundations have strict rules and regulations about their use of funds and dealings with contributors that are not applicable to publicly supported organizations. This amount is then divided by the total amount of funding that the organization received in that year. The IRS acknowledges that new organizations may not be able to meet the public requirements within the first years of their operations and so new nonprofits can apply for an advanced ruling of public support at the same time as they apply for recognition of tax exempt status.

Organizations that obtain the advance ruling must satisfy the public support test by the end of the five year period. Organizations that cannot show that they are publicly supported at the end of the period will be required to pay taxes for the previous five year period. Nonprofits are also able to receive income from business activities, which can include, for example, selling educational materials, selling t-shirts or other merchandise and selling services.

If the income is related business income, the income is not taxed. Related business income is limited in that a publicly supported charity must not depend primarily on gross receipts from related activities. If the income is unrelated business income, the income will be taxed. In calculating public support, unrelated business income is included in the denominator but not the numerator, so the more unrelated business income that an organization recognizes, the more money it will need to show in public support to maintain its public charity status.

Additionally, if an organization receives most of its support from income, rather than donations, it will move from being a a 1 organization to a a 2 organization, in which case it will be subject to an additional test that less than a third of its total support must be from unrelated business activities. For a 2 organizations, the public support test is a little different for related business income in that it is included in both the numerator and the denominator instead of excluded there are exceptions to this including an exception that money from persons with certain relationships to the organization be excluded from the numerator.

Organizations must remain vigilant about staying compliant with all of the applicable federal and state laws and must be sure to make the appropriate filings on time. Generally, an organization will need to make an annual federal tax filing, an annual state tax filing and often annual corporate filings. For c 3 tax exempt organizations, the federal government requires an Annual Information Return on Form Nonprofits should check to make sure that they satisfy all appropriate state filings.

For example, many states require that organizations that receive over a certain amount of income must have an audit performed on their annual financials. New York State, for example, requires that the audit and a copy of the financial statements be filed with the Charities Bureau. If your organization has a significant income, it is recommended that you consult with an accountant and a lawyer to make sure that your organization is compliant with all of the appropriate requirements.

There is a tendency both to overestimate and underestimate the threat that patents pose to FOSS. Patent holders are unlikely to sue individual developers or nonprofit organizations associated with FOSS projects, since they do not hold substantial assets or enjoy a revenue stream from which substantial patent royalties could be extracted.

Nevertheless, such lawsuits are not without precedent and might be a tactic employed by proprietary software companies competing unsuccessfully with FOSS projects. Moreover, commercial distributors and users of a FOSS project are a likely target for litigious patent holders, and suits against such parties may adversely affect the entire community surrounding the project, including the developers producing the software.

Furthermore, some patent-holding competitors of FOSS projects engage in non-litigious conduct calculated to disrupt such projects and their communities by fostering the perception that the projects carry significant patent risk. This chapter provides guidance to FOSS developers who wish to protect their projects and their users against patent risk.

It focuses on defensive measures that developers can take if they have been threatened by a patent holder with allegations of patent infringement. There are many other issues involving the relationship between patents and FOSS that are beyond the scope of this document. This document deals solely with U. Because we do not know the specifics of your project, we provide general information, and not legal advice. If your project has a specific need for legal advice, please contact the Software Freedom Law Center or seek other legal counsel.

This subsection briefly describes some of the more important features to look for when reviewing a patent. The parts of the patent other than the drawings and claims are referred to as the specification. Every patent has a title. The title tends to be worded rather broadly, but it has essentially no legal significance. Some FOSS developers mistakenly assume the title has some bearing on the content or scope of the patent claims; it does not.

Each patent has a seven-digit number that identifies it. The front page of the patent also lists the application number of the patent, which was used to identify the application before it issued as a patent. The front page also lists the past U. The abstract is supposed to provide a brief summary of the invention disclosed in the patent. As with the title, many non-lawyers make the mistake of assuming that the abstract defines the scope of the patent.

In fact, the abstract has little if any legal significance, although it may sometimes have some bearing on the interpretation of the patent claims. The drawings accompany the body of the patent, and are supposed to help illustrate the implementation of the invention described in the body of the patent.

Drawings in software-related patents most commonly include system diagrams and flowcharts. Some patents list related patent applications any of which might already have issued into a patent.

There are various ways in which patents might be related to one another. The family trees of patents can be very complex.

The main body of the specification usually includes sections purporting to provide the background of the invention and a summary of the invention , and always includes a section known as the detailed description. Nevertheless, this section may be useful in indicating what is not covered by the patent.

The summary of the invention, despite its name, should not be assumed to give a reliable summary of the invention as claimed in the patent. Whether the disclosures in most software-related patents actually meet this standard is open to question.

The claims , which are the most important part of the patent, appear at the end of the patent. The claims define what the patent actually covers. When you read a patent, it is usually a good idea to begin at the end, with the claims, and use the rest of the patent primarily as an aid in interpreting the scope of the claims.

It is common for patent attorneys to draft claims before drafting any other part of a patent application. Each claim is a single sentence. The preamble might seem to restrict the claim in some way, such as by stating what might look to you like a field of use. However, you cannot generally assume that the preamble will actually have any limiting effect. Claims are classified as either independent or dependent claims.

Independent claims are those claims that make no reference to other claims in the patent. Dependent claims explicitly incorporate the contents of other claims in the patent. A dependent claim is necessarily narrower in scope than the claim from which it depends, because it includes an additional limitation not present in the incorporated claim. System claims recite the elements of a system which might include one or more computers as a kind of machine or static object. Method claims are algorithmic in form.

Computer-readable medium claims typically duplicate the limitations found in corresponding system or method claims in the patent, but are intended to cover software embodied in a storage or distribution medium. Such claims are particularly designed to make distributors directly liable for patent infringement. Computer-readable medium claims are also often used when claiming inventions that focus on data structures and user interfaces.

Every statement made by the patent applicant that is recorded in the file wrapper potentially has a limiting effect on the scope of the patent.

The file wrapper can therefore be valuable when developing non-infringement determinations, discussed below. To prove that you 5 infringe a patent, the patent holder must show that you make, use, offer to sell, or sell the invention as it is defined in at least one claim of the patent. As those verbs are understood, they overlap closely with the acts that FOSS licenses permit as a matter of copyright law. It is crucial to recognize that infringement is based directly on the claims of the patent, and not on what is stated or described in other parts of the patent document.

If a court determines that you have infringed a patent, the patent holder is entitled to have the court stop you from infringing and assess money damages that you must pay for past infringement. Even if you modify the code to avoid the claims of the patent, you may still be liable for infringement that preceded the modification. Lack of prior knowledge of a patent is not a defense to patent infringement. It is also no excuse that you independently came up with the ideas implemented in your software.

There are various ways in which you might become aware of a specific patent. The patent holder might publicize it, a FOSS developer might call attention to it, a user might ask you about it, or you might discover it in a web search.

The patent holder might also contact you directly. For example, the patent holder might send a letter accusing you of infringing a patent, or offering to license the patent to you. The guidance given in this document is applicable regardless of how you learn of the patent.

If you receive threats from a patent holder, contact the Software Freedom Law Center or another lawyer immediately. We generally do not recommend that you attempt to search patents or published pending patent applications. If, despite this, you do intend to conduct a patent search, you should seek legal advice first. If you have become aware of a patent that you believe may threaten your project, your first step should be to ascertain the meaning of the claims.

This is not a simple task, because patent claims are drafted artfully, using jargon unique to patent attorneys, and are often deliberately drafted in an obscure manner. Terms in patent claims are presumed to have their ordinary and customary meanings, which include definitions in use in the relevant technical field. If some of the words in the claims cannot be properly interpreted using the plain meaning approach for example, if a claim has multiple interpretations , you should interpret the claims based on definitions of terms in the patent specification, the file wrapper, or other sources, such as technical papers or your own technical expertise.

Depending on how artfully the patent application was drafted, this may prove to be a difficult task. Patent attorneys sometimes make up their own terminology to obscure the relationship between the claims and the prior art, and they often use non-limiting examples rather than definitions in the specification.

If the patent examiner rejected claims in the patent application over prior art, the file wrapper might show that the prosecuting patent attorney supplied some definition of a term in order to avoid that prior art. Once you have some understanding of the scope of the claims, you should work with your attorney to develop defenses that will reduce the risk presented by the patent. Four important defenses are license, non-infringement, invalidity, and unenforceability.

Of these, it is especially useful to develop and document an informed, good-faith argument that a even if the patent is valid, your software does not infringe it, and b the patent is not valid. You may be able to show that you have a license to use the patent, or some similar immunity from suit by the patent holder. Such promises may take a number of explicit and implicit forms in addition to formal patent license agreements.

For example, some patent-holding companies have issued general public pledges or covenants that apply to the use of FOSS. The patent holder might have agreed with a standards body to provide royalty-free access to patents needed to implement the standard. The patent holder might also have granted a license by contributing or distributing code under a FOSS license, as some FOSS licenses include explicit patent license grants. A patent holder providing code under a FOSS license without an explicit patent license grant, such as GPLv2, would nonetheless probably be held to have granted a license implicitly to recipients of the code, though the scope and coverage of such an implied license would be difficult to establish.

Your attorney should carefully examine the document that contains or implies the non-assertion promise to determine who and what are actually covered under it.

In many cases such promises are quite narrow and will provide no reliable protection for your project. In other words, your software does not actually implement what is recited in each claim.

To make a noninfringement determination, you normally need to show only that there is one limitation of each independent claim that is not practiced by your software. This saves you time in making the noninfringement determination, because for each claim that you demonstrate is not infringed, you can ignore the claims that depend from it.

For a claim, such as a method claim, that recites a series of steps, the order in which the steps are listed is generally irrelevant, unless the claim clearly indicates otherwise. Ordinarily, then, if a claim recites a method for doing A, B, and C, you infringe the claim even though you do those steps in reverse order. Moreover, except in unusual cases, it is not a defense to infringement of a claim that your software performs additional steps, or includes additional features, beyond those recited in the claim.

The degree to which the patent claim elements must be read literally in determining infringement varies, depending on circumstances in the prosecution history of the patent. In some cases, your software would have to implement each claim element exactly as described in the claim in order to infringe. Ask your attorney to examine this issue.

In a noninfringement claim chart, the left column displays each element of a claim, while the right column contains a brief explanation of why your software does not practice that claim element, if that is the case.

For a given claim in your claim chart, you need only explain that your software does not practice one of the claim elements to establish that your software does not infringe the entire claim. An invalidity defense, therefore, shows that the patent failed to meet one of these requirements.

It is most useful for you to focus on determining whether the patent claims were not novel, or would have been obvious even though, in a strict sense, they were novel. In a litigation context, it is generally more difficult to show that a patent is invalid than to show that you do not infringe it, because an issued patent is presumed to be valid.

The presumption of validity places the burden of proof on you as the challenger of the patent. By contrast, patent holders bear the burden of proof of proving that you infringe the patent. However, as we note below, if you request re-examination of the patent by the USPTO, and the request is granted, there is no presumption that the patent is valid during the re-examination proceeding.

In constructing an invalidity defense, the concept of the priority date of the patent is important. The priority date is often, but not always, the same date as the application filing date. While the statutory definition of invalidating prior art is somewhat complicated, in essence the prior art must either predate the priority date of the patent by at least one year, or predate the invention of the patent.

Normally you will not know the date of the invention, so, if possible, you should use prior art that was published at least one year before the priority date. Although other forms of prior art exist, you are best off using earlier patents and published patent applications and other printed publications textbooks, journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports, software manuals, source code, and so on that were actually available to the public before the relevant date.

If you are looking for material on the web to use as prior art, it is important for you to be able to establish the date of the publication, which is sometimes difficult for material posted online. If you cannot ascertain that the date of a particular publication is on or before the relevant date, you should look for another source of prior art.

It is a good idea for you to establish good dating practices for your own code and documentation in case you or others will wish to use them as prior art in a future challenge or defense to a patent. Use of a revision control system that includes the system date and time on each operation, as Subversion does, is one way to do this.

If at all possible, you should use prior art references that were not considered by the patent examiner during prosecution of the patent. Patents are presumed valid against any prior art of record. Although the prior art considered by the examiner is generally listed at the beginning of the patent, you should check the file wrapper to be sure that your prior art was not already considered.

To show that a claim is not novel, you must produce a single prior art reference that clearly anticipates each element of that claim.

If you need to use two or more prior art references to cover all the claim elements, your argument must be that, in light of the prior art, the claimed invention would have been obvious to to a person having ordinary skill in the art at the time the invention was made. In essence, you are arguing that the claim is merely an obvious combination of elements that were already well-known in the relevant technical field.

It is more difficult to demonstrate invalidity based on obviousness than on lack of novelty. Although it is too early to know what impact KSR will have on U. As with noninfringement determinations, in constructing an invalidity defense it is helpful to make a claim chart.

The first column of the claim chart again contains each claim element. In the second column, for each claim element, you summarize the prior art that discloses, and therefore invalidates, that claim element.

Be specific about the page number or in the case of patents and published patent applications column and line numbers of the prior art reference you are using. Unlike noninfringement analysis, however, to prove a patent entirely invalid, you must show prior art for each element of each claim, including all dependent claims.

If you can only show invalidity for some of the claims, you should prepare noninfringement determinations for the rest if you can. Invalidation of one claim will not necessarily help you in invalidating others. In addition to making noninfringement and invalidity determinations, you should obtain a formal opinion concerning noninfringement and invalidity from a patent attorney who is familiar with the patent, its file history, the relevant prior art, and your project.

Such opinions of counsel are important under U. Obtaining noninfringement and invalidity opinions, and beginning or continuing activity that might infringe a patent in reliance on such opinions, are a way of fulfilling this duty of due care.

For example, the patent might have been invalidated by a court. If the patent is being subjected to a re-examination by the USPTO, the patent holder as a practical matter generally has a more difficult time enforcing the patent while the re-examination is pending.

Moreover, if the patent has expired, it cannot be infringed. While recently-issued patents expire by default 20 years from the filing date, they can expire earlier if the patent holder has failed to pay maintenance fees, which are due every four and a half years. It is estimated that a third of all patents are not maintained beyond the eleventh year of the term. However, even though the patent has expired, if you were infringing the patent before it expired, the patent holder can seek damages for infringements occurring up to six years in the past.

There may be other grounds for unenforceability. In addition to establishing defenses against assertion of the patent, it may be worthwhile to take other measures to minimize your risks from a patent. Two examples are designing around the patent and filing a re-examination.

However, the patent holder will still be able to assert that you infringed the patent prior to implementing the workaround. Designing around may be impractical, however, if it is too difficult to ascertain the precise meaning of the claims, or if the claims are relatively broad. However, the broader a claim is, the easier it will be to construct an invalidity argument based on prior art. If you have made a strong invalidity determination, you may wish to ask a patent attorney to help you file a patent re-examination request with the USPTO, which potentially results in cancellation of the patent claims, although the filing fees may be out of reach for many nonprofit projects.

The request must be based on prior art in the form of patents or printed publications; other forms of prior art cannot be used. If the USPTO orders re-examination, prosecution of the patent begins all over again for the patent holder. In a re-examination, the patent claims lose their presumption of validity. The most common form of re-examination is ex parte re-examination, in which a third party requester whose request is granted has no further opportunity to make submissions in the proceeding, apart from the right to submit a reply if the patent owner files a response to the order granting the request.

It offers the requester opportunities to submit arguments during the course of the re-examination, though it has certain drawbacks in addition to its higher fee. Re-examinations are usually successful at least in causing the patent holder to narrow the patent claims. It may then become marginally easier for you to make a noninfringement determination for those claims, or to design around those claims.

On the other hand, re-examination carries some risk that the patent claims will survive unscathed. In that case, the patent emerges with an even stronger presumption of validity, because it has withstood a challenge based on additional prior art. While hostility towards software-related patents is especially prevalent throughout the FOSS community, FOSS developers occasionally ask whether they should apply for their own patents to defend themselves and their projects against patents held by others.

Usually this will not be advisable, for several reasons. The costs of applying for and maintaining a competently-drafted patent may be out of reach for an individual developer or nonprofit FOSS project. Moreover, a FOSS project whose developers file for and obtain patents may suffer considerable political damage within the FOSS community, given prevailing community attitudes towards software-related patents. Two other reasons, however, are even more significant.

First, the novelty requirement for patentability is fundamentally in tension with the nature of FOSS development.

FOSS development is done in a collaborative, distributed and public fashion. If an invention arises out of such FOSS development activity, the inventors would have to act very quickly to file a patent application, since otherwise relevant public code, documentation and discussions would eventually or immediately, in most countries outside the U.

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From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology , dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine.

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As more and more software is delivered as a service instead of as copies of software online dating legal issues, the Affero GPL can ensure that freedom endures even as distribution dwindles. Changing The Dating Game. A name, logo, or phrase that online dating legal issues not distinguish your program from other products with substantial similarities is unlikely to be afforded trademark protection. Or as Bill Maher more crudely but usefully summed it up Four important defenses are kelly reilly dating history, non-infringement, invalidity, and unenforceability. Transsexuals and eunuchs have begun using Internet dating in some states in India. Make sure the violator understands that your primary concern is the issue of freedom, not a large financial settlement.