Hmm, replying to specific messages in the thread is broken in my browser
(Konqueror 3.5.9); I have to "Post a comment".
Patent claims are in the public domain; it is implementations that are
monopolized. In software--and I don't know if this is due to statute,
court precedent, or simply a Mexican standoff among large patent
holders--the source code is regarded as documentary, and the executable as
Thus, for compiled languages at least, it's perfectly okay to IFDEF code
that would infringe a patent if compiled, because in uncompiled form it's
just another way of stating what's in the patent itself.