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Device drivers and non-disclosure agreements

Device drivers and non-disclosure agreements

Posted Oct 15, 2006 2:38 UTC (Sun) by Baylink (guest, #755)
Parent article: Device drivers and non-disclosure agreements

A fairly believable argument has been made, I think about either ATI or Nvidia, that the reason that they don't provide documentation sufficient to write FOSS drivers is that it would reveal that their hardware internals violate other people's patents and, for obvious reasons, that's not a business course they're interested in pursuing.

In lieu of a better argument, that's the one *I'm* running with...

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Device drivers and non-disclosure agreements

Posted Oct 18, 2006 4:24 UTC (Wed) by svkelley (guest, #37299) [Link]

Partially the case. But also the fact that NDA documentation can include detail on the underlying RTL. That makes it an attractive target for competitors.

A good example are two DAC suppliers that I have worked with on embedded products. I have heard from folks at company X irritated over the degree to which company Y had mattched features pre-announced ahead of product launch. Stupid, I know. Never announce early. That is without NDA level access. Imagine how much could be learnt and done with that level of detail.

That being said. An NDA is only worth the paper it is written upon. I deal with countless NDAs through out a given year from CPU to software. The reality is that most NDA detail leave much to be desired. However, there are nuggets of knowledge in there that could be used by the competition or ambitious lawyers for pre-emptive patent law suits.


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