Posts: 1319 from 2003/2/15
From: Central Europe
So, if you're in the USA, yes, Apple can sue you, if you're in the EU or elsewhere, these patents have absolutely NO meaning outside the US. Afaik, there is NO legal standing of cross-border *software* patents.
You can be sued *in the US* even if your company is located in the EU. Whether the litigating party will be able to (easily) collect any awarded damages is of course an entirely different story. That said, a judge could order that the sale of MorphOS to US citizens is prohibited and fine a penalty for every offence. In any case, there is no legal immunity for EU-based companies per se.
With regard to free open source operating systems, most companies will not bother to go to court as it will likely result in just bad press but no effective means of prohibiting the software from being published due to the open source distribution model. However, MorphOS is still primarily a closed source operating system and sold for a fee.
Naturally, there are no guarantuees that Apple would or would not sue a small software developer but it would be wrong to state or imply that there is no legal risk at all.