Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Dan Crevier's Blog : My first patent! My first patent! @ Saturday, December 11, 2004 3:33 PM 'Getting patents is a great defensive strategy, no matter what you think of the patent process.' If Microsoft was really interested in combating obvious 'inventions' such as this one, it would lobby to correct the problem. Sorry, the 'everyone's doing it' defense is without merit. As for you, Dan, congradulations on implementing the *feature*, but you should still be ashamed. You and your employer are abusing intellectual property laws to stifle competition. Frivolous patents like this that don't pass the smell test to professionals as to their non-obviousness are tatamount to fraud and lying to the federal government if the applicant is just trying to slide something under the door in the name of increasing their 'defensive' patent portfolio. Just because the reviewers at the USPTO are too undertrained/overworked to understand software 'innovation' doesn't mean you should take advantage of it any more than someone should avoid taxes by faking business expenses just because the IRS doesn't look closely enough at them. Richard Tallent # re: My first patent! @ Saturday, December 11, 2004 5:35 PM Ok, this thread is closed. I don't want to host a discussion on patents. I am not a lawyer. That said, I'm going to have the last word, because I can! * Patents are written in legalese, not in english. Unless you are a patent lawyer, I don't think you can really judge them. That's why you see stories like Microsoft patenting the double-click or Apple patenting alpha compositing. * This is not a patent for autocomplete. It is much more specific. * We did innovate in this space in MacOE. * Patents are a good defensive strategy for any company. We get sued all the time. Witness the current Eolas lawsuit. * I think there are a lot of things that are lame about the patent system. Dan Crevier" I thought this exchange was interesting. No Microsofty wants to debate this, and they are right to HOPE that the company they work for uses this abuse of the process only defensively. We don't have to look at the code to know that it isn't rocket science, nor do we have to use our imaginiations too much to know that these things WILL get abused eventually. If its purely a defensive move then MS could issue a statement making the idea available to anyone couldn't they? I wonder if they have done so. No, really I don't.

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