Hi David, >> Who has had the experience of developing or starting to develop a software project of original design only to find out that it runs afoul of one or more patents? << I haven't. >> Who has (individually or as a company) researched the patents that were out there to see if a product they were developing might violate one? << Plenty. But back in my hardware days. IMO, 99% of all software patents are the opposite of good sense. The "Founding Fathers" are rolling over in their graves. Or, at least, they should be. Dick Richard Grier Hard & Software 12962 West Louisiana Avenue Lakewood, CO 80228 303-986-2179 (voice) 303-593-9315 (fax) Author of Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Serial Communications, 4th Edition ISBN 1-890422-28-2 (391 pages) published July 2004.For faster service, contact the publisher at http://www.mabry.com/vbpgser4<http://www.mabry.com/vbpgser4>.